Posts Tagged ‘Green Steel Summit’

China’s Hunan province bans coke industry expansions

This is one of a number of signs that China is becoming serious about the environment in general and the impact of pollutants from the iron and steel industry in particular. Clearly, the Beijing and provincial governments have a long way to go, but then so does the US industry and many others. Globally at present, the use of coke as a reductant/energy source means that the only real alternatives are DRI and EAFs. There is some use of charcoal – but many mills could significantly improve their efficiencies, as was discussed at SBB’s recent Green Steel Summit in Washington.

SBB 30 July 2010 Hunan province, China’s fourth largest coke-producing province, is banning any expansions in its coke industry over the next three years, Steel Business Briefing learns from a provincial government anouncement.

The Hunan Environmental Protection Department issued the notice on 22 July, saying there will not be any environment assessments done on any coke expansion projects for the next three years.

However, there are still some projects which are excluded from the ban, if they are included in the province’s coke industry development plan, but the provincial government tells SBB the plan is still under discussion.

These projects also need to have a minimum annual production of 100,000 tonnes and meet a series of environmental protection requirements such as installing a coke quenching water circulatory system and a process gas desulfurization system.

But small coke producers in Hunan have quite a cold response to this new policy, as they lack confidence in the market at the moment. “We have talked about cutting our production recently because of the currently poor sales. So this new policy won’t have any immediate influence,” an officer with a Hunan-based coke producer tells SBB.

Hunan province produced 21m tonnes coke in 2009, accounting for 6% of China’s total production. In January-June this year, Hunan produced 10m t of coke.


US steel industry criticises EPA uncertainty

SBB 2 March: A high-profile steel trade group has blasted the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision last week to delay addressing certain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions until 2011.The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) criticized EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s response to a letter from eight US senators requesting an outline of the agency’s plans this year for addressing GHG emissions. Jackson said no facilities will be required to address GHG emissions under Clean Air Act permitting for new construction or capital modifications before 2011.

She also said for the first half of next year, only facilities that already must apply for Clean Air Act permits will need to address GHG emissions in permit applications, according to the EPA Web site.In a statement seen by Steel Business Briefing, the AISI said Jackson’s response “leaves many important questions unresolved” for steelmakers and others impacted by any GHG reduction plans, such as cap-and-trade.“A temporary delay in regulation for some sources, as EPA has proposed, does not provide the certainty that businesses need,” the AISI said.

“Without an international agreement on GHG emissions reductions, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases will only transfer emissions – and critical manufacturing jobs – overseas. We call on Congress to stop EPA and instead consider a legislative approach that reduces emissions while ensuring international competitiveness for domestic industries.”

AISI president Thomas Gibson, Congressional Steel Caucus chairman Pete Visclosky and others will address GHG regulation at SBB’s Green Steel Summit, May 20-21 in Washington, DC