Energy-intensive ferrochrome smelting operations are choosing to go green in an exemplary manner. Firstly, they are making the full use of their obnoxious offgases by converting the carbon dioxide in them to clean electricity. Staying on site, they are then extracting the best renewable potential from sun and wind in and around their operations.
Their final step is then to go off site and bring in South Africa’s best high-volume solar power and wind power, no matter the distance from site. All speak of this being a good business case and a good moral case in that it lowers costs at the fastest possible rate, satisfies those buying smelted products on domestic and export markets, and contributes towards mitigating against climate change, a global imperative.
Moreover, ferrochrome is the key ingredient of stainless steel, a material that earns green credentials for being 100% recyclable. In fact, according to Google, more than half of all the stainless steel materials in use have been sourced from scrap materials. “What’s more,” says Google, “stainless steel production does not produce toxic run-off.” Local ferrochrome production is thus chrome beneficiation at its best, and every effort should be made to assist South Africa to regain its former top global market share position.