The steelmaking future is reframed by several primary drivers lined up to transform the steelmaking operation out of the fossil era and into the fossil-free era. The four main drivers that we presently experience are critical for management to follow and understand because they will dramatically impact the future of steelmaking.
The global progress on climate action is still insufficient, and there are increased expectations that the industry will bridge the gap. The main industrial emitters in CO2 are found in the primary material production, e.g. steel and cement, which should expect increased external pressure to transform.
Increased utilisation of existing resources (circularity) by minimising waste is likely to increase. Increased scrap recycling in society and value creation from metal-containing side-streams in the industry will be necessary to meet future targets.
As a global commodity, many of the world’s steel markets are accessible for numerous producers. The increased focus on climate change mitigation will put this at risk were some parts of the world, e.g. Europe with the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), is starting to add costs to industrial production of steel based on emissions. The increased pressure to secure a level playing field between producers from different parts of the world is likely to introduce more emission-based costs and border mechanisms to ensure fair competition.
Alternative technologies to produce steel without using a fossil energy source already exist today. The increased demand for such technologies has accelerated the solutions’ development. Typically, the transformation of the industrial system does not start from scratch but builds on existing production systems that replace the fossil components in use.
Trends that will impact the future of steelmaking
As part of a management team in the steelmaking industry it is more important than ever to follow the trends and form proper strategies. Read our guide “Iron- and steelmaking decarbonisation – reframing the future in steelmaking” to understand the drivers forming tomorrows steel industry.
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