In addition to direct emissions from steelmaking, emissions from the extraction of raw materials also contribute to steel’s total carbon footprint. However, this also gives vertically integrated steelmakers the opportunity to invest in energy efficiency across the supply chain. One option is to produce power from mining waste gases, insuating the mining operation from volatile energy prices and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions.
SBB 28 Sept Vorkutaugol, the coking coal mining division of Russian steelmaker Severstal, will start recycling methane gas collected from its Severnaya mine, processing it into heat and electricity at the 800m rouble ($25m) worth gas generating power plant it is preparing to commissioning in the first quarter of 2012, Steel Business Briefing learns from Vorkutaugol.
The 18 megawatt plant will cover 100% and 70% of electricity and heat energy needs at Severnaya. When fully operational, it will enable Vorkutaugol to reduce its emissions by 0.5m t/y in carbon dioxide equivalent, as well as to save up to 300m roubles/year, which may be diverted onto operational needs and other investments, SBB understands.
Based in Russia’s northwestern Komi republic, Vorkutaugol operates four mines: Severnaya, Vorkutinskaya, Zapolyarnaya and Komsomolskaya, and open pit Yunyaginsky. Their combined output is expected to amount to 8.5mt this year, as SBB previously reported.