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Anglo signs another green steel deal involving South African iron-ore

Kolomela iron-ore operation of Anglo group company Kumba Iron Ore, inNorthern Cape.

Kolomela iron-ore operation of Anglo group company Kumba Iron Ore, inNorthern Cape.

4th April 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Mitigating climate change, the biggest challenge of our time, requires a new, clean industrial revolution, says H2 Green Steel of Sweden, which on Tuesday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Anglo American to advance green steelmaking.

The London- and Johannesburg-listed Anglo has also signed MoUs with huge steel producers such as Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Salzgitter Flachstahl of Germany, and Nippon Steel of Japan to collaborate on the development of new pathways for the decarbonisation of steelmaking.

The agreements include trialling the use of premium quality iron-ore products from Anglo’s Kumba Iron Ore mines in South Africa as feedstock for direct reduced iron (DRI) production.

“We are impressed by Anglo’s efforts to bring high-quality iron-ore products to customers which focus on low-carbon iron and steelmaking, and we look forward to continue working with them, not only for our first green hydrogen integrated steel plant in Sweden but for other future locations globally,” H2 Green Steel chief procurement officer Luisa Orre stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

Stockholm-headquartered H2 Green Steel, launched in 2021 to accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel industry by using green hydrogen, is developing an integrated, digitalised and circular DRI plant in Boden, in northern Sweden, which will produce green steel, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 95% when compared with traditional steelmaking. The founder and largest shareholder of H2 Green Steel is investment company Vargas.

Interestingly, Anglo was itself a DRI producer in the days when it owned Scaw Metals, south-east of Johannesburg. Steel production by DRI is a technically proven production method estimated to be significantly less carbon intensive than the traditional blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace integrated steelmaking process. When using green hydrogen as a reducing agent, the process can be made largely CO2-free.

Collaboration with industry leaders who share a vision for decarbonised steelmaking is central to Anglo's commitment to reduce emissions in its value chains.

"Our work with H2 Green Steel will focus on exploring ways for premium, responsibly produced iron-ore from our operations to be used as feedstock in the Boden plant’s low-carbon production process, paving the way to a cleaner, greener way to produce steel – one of the backbone materials for the rollout of energy transition infrastructure and for ongoing global socio-economic development,” Anglo marketing business CEO Peter Whitcutt highlighted. 

Climate science has set an imperative to decarbonise the global economy as quickly as possible.

Anglo is taking steps to halve its Scope 3 emissions by 2040, building on a pre-existing commitment to reach operational Scope 1 and 2 carbon neutrality by the same year.

Owing to steel production accounting for a large percentage of CO2 emissions, its decarbonisation is seen as a must and giga electrolysis infrastructure to produce green hydrogen is envisaged as integrated plant in future steel works.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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