Tag Archives: steel

Suncor backs Svante and its carbon dioxide capture technology

Suncor has backed the decarbonisation and hydrogen production ambitions of carbon capture technology company Svante, joining a number of firms in its latest equity raising.

Svante is looking to accelerate the commercialisation of its novel second generation CO2 capture technology, aiming to decarbonise industrial emissions and hydrogen production in North America. Its technology, Svante claims, captures carbon dioxide from flue gas, concentrates it, then releases it for safe storage or industrial use.

Combined, Suncor and a number of family office investors have invested $25 million of equity financing, bringing the total proceeds raised under Svante’s Series D financing to $100 million, completing what Suncor says is the largest single private investment into point source carbon capture technology globally to date.

Svante has now attracted more than $175 million in total funding since it was founded in 2007 to develop and commercialise its breakthrough solid sorbent technology at half the capital cost of traditional engineered solutions.

Claude Letourneau, President & CEO of Svante Inc, said: “Svante has generated a pipeline of potential new project opportunities capturing over 40 Mt of CO2/y before 2030 from natural gas industrial boilers, cement and lime, and blue hydrogen industrial facilities, mainly in North America and spurred by both US and Canada federal CO2 tax credits and prices on CO2 emissions.”

According to Mark Little, President & CEO of Suncor, “carbon capture is a strategic technology area for Suncor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our base business and produce blue hydrogen as an energy product. An investment in Svante is expected to support the acceleration of commercial-scale deployment of a technology that has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost associated with carbon capture. We are excited to become both an investor in and a collaborative partner with the company.”

Letourneau added on Suncor’s investment: “We are pleased to partner with a leading Canadian player in the energy industry, alongside existing investor Cenovus, and to benefit not only from their financial support but also their commitment to deliver low-carbon fuels and blue hydrogen to transform the energy system.”

Svante says its approach is tailored specifically to the challenges of separating CO₂ from nitrogen contained in diluted flue gas generated by industrial plants such as cement, steel, aluminium, fertiliser and hydrogen, which is typically emitted in large volumes, at low pressures, and dilute concentrations.

It uses tailor-made nano-materials (solid adsorbents) with very high storage capacity for carbon dioxide. It has engineered these adsorbents to catch and release CO₂ in less than 60 seconds, compared with hours for other technologies.

The company’s carbon capture technology consists of a patented architecture of structured adsorbent laminate (spaced sheets), proprietary process cycle design, and a rotary mechanical contactor to capture, release and regenerate the adsorbent in a single unit.

In January, Lafarge Canada, Svante and Total announced they had reached a major milestone at its Project CO2MENT, a first-of-its kind partnership to capture industrial levels of CO2 emissions from a cement plant. The multi-phase project celebrated the completion of Phase II construction to have the technology to capture and filter the CO2 from the flue gas. This was a crucial component to achieving the next stage of capturing CO2 flow at the Lafarge Richmond cement facility in British Columbia, Canada.

BHP signs third low-carbon steelmaking partnership

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s HBIS Group Co Ltd, one of the world’s largest steelmakers and a major customer of BHP’s iron ore, with the intention of investing up to $15 million over three years to jointly study and explore greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies and pathways.

Under the partnership, BHP and HBIS Group intend to collaborate on three priority areas: hydrogen-based direct reduction technology, the recycling and reuse of steelmaking slag, and the role of iron ore lump use to help reduce emissions from ironmaking and steelmaking.

The partnership aims to help both companies progress toward their climate change goals and support the steel industry’s role in helping to achieve China’s ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2060.

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “We view decarbonisation of the steel industry as a complex puzzle that requires multiple technological solutions across the value chain over different time horizons. By forming this third low-carbon steelmaking partnership with HBIS Group, we are focusing on additional components, such as the role our products play in hydrogen-based steel production, that complement our other partnerships and support for endeavours in emissions reduction and capture from the traditional blast furnace route.”

In February, the mining major signed a similar MoU with leading Japanese steel producer, JFE Steel, while, in November 2020, BHP and China Baowu signed a pact that could see up to $35 million invested in tackling greenhouse gas emission reductions in the global steel industry.

BHP’s investment would be drawn from its $400 million Climate Investment Program, established in 2019 to support projects, partnerships, research and development to help reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said: “BHP has a long and trusted relationship with HBIS Group, and we are pleased to establish this strategic partnership to explore new ways to reduce emissions from steelmaking. Global decarbonisation will require collaboration and collective effort, and our work with partners such as HBIS Group will build on our own actions and help reduce emissions right through the value chain.”

Chairman of the World Steel Association, Party Secretary and Chairman of HBIS Group, Yu Yong, said: “The signing of the MoU fully demonstrates the two companies’ commitment to creating a green and low-carbon future across the value chain and a shared sense of responsibility to address climate change together, with a common vision to ‘contributing to a community of a shared future for mankind’. This partnership ushers in a new chapter for the two companies to deepen our strategic cooperation and to achieve collaborative development.”

BHP has also been active in other areas to reduce emissions, including awarding the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender and the first LNG supply agreement for those vessels, and renewable energy supply contracts for BHP’s Queensland coal mines and Nickel West operations.

BHP, JFE Steel to scrutinise Australian steel raw materials emissions in latest study

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with leading Japanese steel producer, JFE Steel, to jointly study technologies and pathways capable of making material reductions to greenhouse gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking process.

BHP is prepared to invest up to $15 million over the five-year partnership, which, it says, builds on the strong history of technical research and collaboration between the two companies.

The company’s investment will be funded under its $400 million Climate Investment Program, set up in 2019 to coordinate and prioritise projects, partnerships, R&D and venture investments to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, invest in offsets and support development of technologies with the highest potential to impact change.

The JFE-BHP partnership will focus on the role of Australian raw materials to help to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from the blast furnace and direct reduced iron (DRI) steelmaking routes, it said. The partnership intends to study the properties of raw materials, with focus on specific areas such as iron ore pre-treatment, use of enhanced iron ore lump, high quality coke and DRI, required to decrease iron and steelmaking emissions and support a transition to a low carbon future. Throughout the collaboration, the two companies will also share knowledge on reducing carbon emissions across the steel value chain.

This JFE-BHP partnership follows other BHP investments to support the reduction of value chain emissions, including up to $35 million for the collaboration with China’s largest steelmaker, China Baowu, and awarding BHP’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers contract, with the aim to reduce CO2-e emissions by 30% per voyage.

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “This partnership with JFE demonstrates a joint commitment to make our activities more sustainable through collaboration and technological improvement. This work will support and help progress Japan’s carbon neutral ambitions by 2050.”

As outlined in BHP’s decarbonisation framework, the steel industry is expected to move through stages of optimisation and transition for the existing integrated steelmaking route before reaching an end state of low or no carbon intensity.

“Our investments are focused on actions that can create real change, and we continue to take positive steps on our climate agenda and in collaborating with others to help reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals,” Pant said.

JFE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Yoshihisa Kitano, said: “We understand that raw material processing technology is extremely important in the research and development towards carbon neutrality. We have a long history working closely together with BHP collaborating to study raw material utilisation technology and mine development. It is very significant for us to be able to work together with BHP towards reduction of CO2 emissions, which is an extremely important agenda for the steel making sector.”

Cleveland-Cliffs commits to new greenhouse gas emission goals

Iron ore miner and steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs Inc has set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030, with the use of carbon capture technologies and natural gas/hydrogen in the production of hot briquetted iron (HBI) just some of paths it is pursuing.

This goal represents combined Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emission reductions on a mass basis (t/y) compared with 2017 baseline levels.

Prior to setting this goal with its newly acquired steel assets from AK Steel and ArcelorMittal USA, the company said it exceeded its previous 26% greenhouse gas reduction target at its mining and pelletising facilities six years ahead of its 2025 goal. In 2019, it reduced its combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 42% on a mass basis from 2005 baseline levels, it said.

Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We at Cleveland-Cliffs acknowledge that one of the most important issues impacting our planet is climate change. The American steel industry is one of the cleanest and most energy efficient in the world, and therefore the utilisation of steel Made in the USA is a decisively positive move to protect the planet against massive pollution embedded in the steel produced in other countries.”

He added: “In the past year, Cleveland-Cliffs has transformed itself into the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. As a company currently employing more than 25,000 people, the vast majority of them in good paying middle-class union jobs, our commitment to operating our business in an environmentally and socially responsible manner remains our priority.

“As we continue to grow the company going forward, we will vigorously pursue the opportunities we have outlined in our Greenhouse Gas Reduction Commitment, and will be transparent with our stakeholders by regularly reporting on our progress.”

Cleveland-Cliffs’ plan is based on its execution of the following five strategic priorities:

  • Developing domestically sourced, high quality iron ore feedstock and utilising natural gas in the production of HBI;
  • Implementing energy efficiency and green energy projects;
  • Investing in the development of carbon capture technology;
  • Enhancing its greenhouse gas emissions transparency and sustainability focus; and
  • Supporting public policies that facilitate carbon reduction in the domestic steel industry.

Only last year, Cleveland-Cliffs completed the construction of its first Direct Reduction Plant (pictured) to make it the first HBI producer in the Great Lakes Region of North America.

The company said: “To further reduce our GHG footprint at the new Direct Reduction Plant, we will evaluate partnering with hydrogen producers to replace natural gas use with hydrogen when it becomes commercially available in significant quantities.”

Without any modifications to the plant’s configuration, the company says it can replace up to 30% of the plant’s natural gas consumption with hydrogen to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 450,000 t/y.

“With limited equipment modifications and investments, we could increase hydrogen usage up to 70% and reduce over 1 Mt of GHG emissions per year,” it added.

The company said it is also currently working to implement numerous energy efficiency projects, which include, but are not limited to: improving furnace fuel efficiency; upgrading mobile mining fleet and locomotive engines to high efficiency/low emission models; investing in electrical energy efficiency projects; replacing traditional lighting with LED lamps; and cogenerating electricity from by-product gases.

Fortescue’s Forrest opens up about iron ore miner’s ‘green steel’ ambitions

Fortescue Metals Group Chairman and founder, Dr Andrew Forrest (pictured), has revealed the iron ore miner has plans to build Australia’s first “green steel” pilot plant this year.

A commercial plant, powered entirely by wind and solar, could be constructed in the next few years he said in the first Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Boyer Lecture for 2021, entitled: ‘Oil vs Water: Confessions of a Carbon Emitter’.

In a wide-ranging talk, he acknowledge that Fortescue was trialling both known methods of making “zero-carbon-steel” without the use of coal in Australia: replacing coal in the furnace with ‘green hydrogen’ and adding carbon separately to strengthen the steel, and “zap[ping] the ore with renewable electricity”.

On the development of such an industry, Forrest said: “We could look at losing our coal industry as a national disaster – yet, I’ve always believed, out of every setback, is the seed of equal or greater opportunity.

“We produce over 40% of the world’s iron ore. And our potential green energy and hydrogen resources are immeasurable.

“If Australia were to capture just 10% of the world’s steel market, we could generate well over 40,000 jobs – more than what’s required to replace every job in the coal industry.”

Fortescue, through its Fortescue Future Industries company, has been signing agreements to leverage hydro-electric power and geothermal energy to become one of the “world’s largest green energy and product businesses”, Forrest said.

“We’re now undertaking feasibility studies that could lead to some 300 GW of power – more than four times what Australia can produce,” he explained.

Forrest also mentioned some of the decarbonisation work Fortescue is currently working on.

Back in December, Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, announced the company was working on developing an in-house, non-diesel 240 t haul truck prototype that will test both battery-electric and fuel-cell electric drivetrain technology in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Seemingly referencing this project, Forrest said: “By the end of the decade, our trucks will run on renewable energy. Imagine that: a fleet of vehicles that produces nothing more than steam as exhaust.”

He also said the company was aiming to develop “green iron ore trains” powered by either renewable electricity or “green ammonia”.

Looking at the company’s shipping operations, he said 2021 would see the company “begin to settle designs” that allow its ships to run on “zero-pollution, green ammonia”.

He added: “And we’re willing to share that knowledge, to help our competitors go green too – including Vale, one of the largest mining companies in the world.”

GFG Alliance, South32 and Anglo American complete TEMCO transaction

GFG Alliance says it has finalised the purchase of the hydro energy-powered Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) smelter in Bell Bay in northern Tasmania, Australia.

After entering a binding sale and purchase agreement with South32 and Anglo American in August, today’s finalisation sees TEMCO join LIBERTY Steel Group as part of the GFG Alliance family, it said.

The smelter, in Tasmania, Australia, was run by the Samancor Manganese joint venture, owned 60% by South32 and 40% by Anglo American.

GFG Alliance Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said the acquisition not only secured the jobs of the smelter’s 250 workers but would also play a key role in enhancing LIBERTY’s drive to be self-sufficient in the supply chain.

“When we entered into the agreement in August, I flagged that our investment in key inputs such as ferromanganese and silicomanganese would generate supply chain value to ensure a sustainable and globally competitive steel manufacturing sector,” Gupta said. “This acquisition is an upstream integration for Whyalla and all our steel plants globally.

“The Bell Bay precinct and nearby George Town is a long-standing industrial community with a proud heritage, and we are committed to seeing this facility continue to play an important role in the future of the Australian steel industry.”

The TEMCO facility, which is powered by Hydro Tasmania, has four submerged arc furnaces, including a sinter plant, and has the capacity to produce around 150,000 t/y of high carbon ferromanganese and 120,000 t/y of silicomanganese used in the production of steel, the company said.

“GFG Alliance already produces the lowest carbon aluminium in the world in both the UK and France and I’m proud to add one of the world’s greenest ferro alloy producers to our portfolio,” Gupta said. “Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030 and I am proud to invest in a state like Tasmania, which has a plentiful supply of renewable energy resources.”

Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel examine ways to decarbonise steel value chain

Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel Corp have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly explore, develop and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain.

The two companies share a long history of working together, with the first shipment of iron ore from Australia to Japan coming from Rio’s Pilbara operations in 1966 and going to Yawata Works in Kitakyushu, now part of Nippon Steel.

With this MoU, Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel are looking to enhance this relationship by extending it into new areas in support of the shared goal of significantly reducing carbon emissions across the entire steel value chain, Rio said.

“Japan’s recent announcement of its commitment to realise a carbon-neutral society by 2050 has given Japanese companies even greater impetus to accelerate their decarbonisation activities,” the miner said. “The intent of this partnership is in line with Japan’s climate ambition.”

The purpose of this partnership is to explore a breadth of technologies for decarbonisation of the entire steel value chain from iron ore mining to steelmaking, including integrating Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and Nippon Steel’s steelmaking technology to establish an innovative steel manufacturing process with low carbon emissions, according to Rio.

The partners have agreed on a partnership model in line with the long-term and complex nature of the transition to carbon neutrality for the steel industry. This model allows the partners to take a long-term view to enable the pursuit of new and promising technologies as the global steel transition evolves, Rio explained.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, said: “One of Rio Tinto’s four pillars in addressing climate change is to partner with customers to reduce the carbon footprint across our value chain. Nippon Steel has been an important partner for our business with a very long history and we are delighted to be able to extend our partnership to work together to reduce carbon emissions across the steel value chain.”

Eiji Hashimoto, Representative Director and President of Nippon Steel Corporation, said: “To further advance toward realising our ambitious vision on decarbonisation, we began examining our CO2 reduction scenarios that had set goals for 2030 and 2050. Rio Tinto and our company have had a long and deep trusting relationship, and we are pleased to start this partnership on the basis of that trust. We are confident that it will be a powerful lever for our company to realise the ambitious vision of decarbonisation.”

Sandvik cone crushers go circular with recycled wear parts

Sandvik Group is encouraging circularity in the mining industry through the recycling of steel from used cone crusher parts to make new crushing equipment.

While extractive industries such as mining are responsible for 50% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, recycling steel from mining equipment could make all the difference, according to Anders Åkesson, QM EHS Manager, Crushing & Screening at Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology (SMRT).

Circularity is becoming vital in the reduction of CO2 emissions, and can help improve the environmental position of many industries. With the mining industry contributing a large percentage of global CO2 emissions, implementing circularity could help it make vital reductions, Åkesson says.

To produce equipment, the mining industry predominantly uses manganese steel, which is renowned for its work-hardening properties and resistance to abrasion. This means the material becomes harder with the more impact it receives, creating a low friction surface suited to crushing. For this reason, manganese steel has been used in high impact applications for over 100 years, making it an ideal material for cone crushers.

Cone crushers are used to grind down rocks, which are fed into the top of the crusher and pressed between the mantle and the cone. This breaks the rock down into smaller fragments, which are then passed through lower levels of the crusher where they are broken down further.

“It’s vital that cone crushers are made from a material that provides the necessary force to grind the rocks, while withstanding the abrasive nature of the process,” Åkesson said.

Using recycled steel from used cone crusher parts to make new cone crushers, Sandvik SMRT has demonstrated and improved circularity of steel production for mining equipment, he explained. The division was nominated for Sandvik’s first sustainability award in April 2020, which recognises sustainable innovations from its employees.

Sourcing manganese steel from one of the world’s most sustainable manganese foundries, based in Sweden, was the first step SMRT took towards its sustainable innovation. A total of 91% circular steel was used to manufacture wear parts, such as the cone and mantle of a cone crusher. These wear parts are reused to produce new wear parts for the cone crushers – creating a continuous cycle, Åkesson said.

Moving away from a linear model, Sandvik increased the circularity and sustainability of its products and eliminated 79% of production emissions, according to Åkesson. “In addition, Sandvik cone crushers help SMRT’s customers to lower their environmental impact as they are buying from the circular economy – contributing to their own sustainability goals,” he said.

Åkesson concluded: “With mining contributing towards CO2 emissions in more ways than one, it’s essential that the industry uses methods that reduce emissions. Reusing and recycling steel to manufacture mining equipment has demonstrated an opportunity that helps meet the sustainability goals of both equipment suppliers and their customers. If the industry wants to become circular, taking a look at equipment a good place to start.”

MRL and Metso Outotec NextGen II crushing plant installation on track

Mineral Resources and Metso Outotec’s plans to deliver their NextGen II modular crushing plant to BHP’s Mt Whaleback mine remain on course, with the fabricated steelwork having arrived in Western Australia.

In January 2020, the joint venture awarded a fabrication contract to three separate companies in Turkey: Birikim and Mass Makina, in Ankara, and Bilim Makina, in Bursa, around 100 km south of Istanbul.

The contract was to procure, fabricate, trial assemble, surface treat, and deliver to the port about 1,400 t of fabricated steel work. This effort was led by Mineral Resources Technical Director, David De Haas, and Fabrication Manager, Michael Killeen.

Mineral Resources’ wholly-owned subsidiary, CSI Mining Services, has now received this infrastructure, with all NextGen II works to be assembled at CSI’s Kwinana workshop during a six-week period, working 24/7.

The assembly of the 12 Mt/y plant will be completed on site at BHP’s Mt Whaleback mine, replacing the existing CSI crushing plant at the iron ore operation. This contract was announced last month.

“The manufacture of NextGen II has been completed in very difficult times internationally as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world and the whole team is to be congratulated for their efforts,” Mineral Resources said.

“We look forward to the successful construction, installation and commissioning of the new plant at Mt Whaleback, and are confident this will be the first of many opportunities for this ground-breaking approach to deliver safe, reliable production for the hard-rock crushing industry.”

The company concluded: “CSI is already the world’s largest crushing contractor and NextGen II will help us maintain our position as the partners of choice for the mining industry.”

The first 12 Mt/y portable and modular NextGen crushing plant was installed in 2018 at the Pilgangoora lithium project, owned by Pilbara Minerals, in Western Australia.

Kibo Energy to help power Baobab’s Tete Steel and Vanadium project

Kibo Energy says it has signed a binding term sheet to supply 200 MW of energy to Baobab Resources’ Tete Steel and Vanadium (TSV) project in Mozambique.

The binding term sheet allows Baobab to exclusively deal and negotiate with Kibo regarding entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply the energy from its in-development Benga power plant, around 36 km away.

Louis Coetzee, CEO of Kibo, said: “The TSV project represents one of Mozambique’s key development projects that could contribute significantly to the growth of the country. We are therefore delighted that our Benga project will be supporting this growth by providing 100% of TSV project’s circa-200 MW energy requirements, subject to reaching final agreement on an appropriate PPA.”

Coetzee said this PPA was one of several supply agreements the company is targeting for Benga, in line with “our commitment to creating reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity in Mozambique”.

Kibo remains focused on developing Benga with its joint venture partner, Termoeléctrica de Benga SA, which will now comprise a thermal power plant with minimum capacity of 350 MW, as well as planned renewable energy projects.

TSV is being developed to produce 0.5 Mt/y of construction steel and is construction-ready with all licences, concessions, and agreements in place, according to Kibo. “This is recognised as a key development project in Mozambique and is set to be the anchor industry for the Revuboe Industrial Free Zone, Mozambique’s newest and largest industrial zone,” it said.