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Green Steel Demand to Rise Exponentially

Kallanish Asia

The green steelmaking transition is an unstoppable trend that is about to embrace significant demand growth over the coming decades, said speakers at the Kallanish Asia Steel Markets 2023 conference in Ho Chi Minh City last week. Dr Sebastian Langendorf, chief executive and founder of Singapore-based Meranti Steel, expects significant demand for green steel due to considerations of increasing political pressure, carbon self-commitments, supply chain requirements and awareness of end customers.

Langendorf sees global green steel demand rising from 7 million tonnes in 2021 to 41mt in 2025, and then jumping significantly to 235mt by 2040. Simultaneously, the share of low-emission steel demand versus all flat steel demand will grow from 1% to 26%. He sees the trend as a big challenge but also a huge opportunity.

Meanwhile, Martin Smith, Asia business development director at Primetals, said at the event: “It [the transition to carbon neutrality] is coming, and we can’t stop it.”

In terms of technology, Gaku Ito, general manager at Japan’s largest pure EAF-based steelmaker Tokyo Steel, asserted that carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) will not be effective and feasible for low-carbon steelmaking in Japan. This is because “land and other costs are too high,” he explained.

Gaku Ito regards EAF technology as the first-choice route for green steelmaking, meaning prime scrap will become more demanded and therefore expensive.

However, questions remain over where the vast sums of money needed for the low-carbon shift will come from. “If half of global steel demand decides to be low carbon, that would require a total of $11 trillion. Who is going to pay for that?” asked Kallanish managing editor Asia Tomas Gutierrez.

See original article and conference speech audio at Kallanish Market Report.

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