Posts Tagged ‘Carbon capture and storage’

EBRD: Little future for carbon capture in the steel industry

SBB 23 April A critical lack of funding and the high cost of developing and implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS) mean it is unlikely to become widespread in the steel industry, senior advisor to the European Bank of Reconstruction & Development, Christopher Beauman told delegates at Platts Steel Business Briefing’s third annual Green Steel Strategies conference in Berlin.

Some funding is being made available in Europe, pointed out Baroness Worthington of Sandbag which campaigns for action on climate change. The European Commission has made revenues from the sale of 300m carbon credits available to CCS projects, with a current market value of around €2.25bn ($2.97bn).

However, the funding is not sufficient to counteract the huge cost of investment. A relatively cost-efficient steelmaker would become unsustainable if it carried the cost of installing CCS alone. The funding in Europe is insufficient and there is even less of it available in other regions, Beauman argued. Furthermore, the funding that is available is focused almost entirely on the power sector.

In Europe the only steelmaking CCS project remains ArcelorMittal’s project at Florange in France. This intends to develop a top-gas recycling blast furnace which will produce waste gases with no carbon monoxide, making them suitable for underground storage. Part the Europe’s Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) project, the plant is expected to generate results by 2014.

There is some chance that CCS funding will become available in China as Beijing has noted that it is a technology it wants to develop in the current five-year plan (2011-2015). However, this too is likely to be focused on the power sector and the availability of storage sites may also be an issue, Beauman said.

Tata Steel and Rio sign agreement over Hisarna smelting

Breathrough low CO2 stelmaking technologies will be essential if the industry is to significantly lower its emissions. But these technologies could also be commercial ventures. Some, such as HIsarna, could also reduce initial investments, land use and raw materials costs. Tata Steel and Rio Tinto hope that they can market the technology if trials are successful.

SBB 25 April Tata Steel and Rio Tinto have signed a licensing agreement over Hisarna, the direct iron smelting process being trialled at IJmuiden in the Netherlands. This will decide how the companies will benefit from selling the technology, Steel Business Briefing understands.

In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the technology could potentially reduce costs. Hisarna, developed as part of the European Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) programme, can produce hot metal from iron ore fines using thermal coal or charcoal. It therefore eliminates the need for coking and sintering and has lower raw material costs.

Under the agreement both parties will collaborate and share their knowledge over the two technologies combined in the process: cyclone pre-reduction and bath smelting. Rio Tinto recently abandoned its 800,000 t/y HIsmelt plant in Australia, which never reached full capacity because of technical difficulties, SBB notes.

The current HIsarna pilot smelter can produce 60,000 tonnes/year, though ULCOS intends to scale this up in the longer-term, SBB notes.

In future Hisarna could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50% when combined with carbon capture and storage, according to a press release issued by Tata Steel.