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Green steel pipe production

The European Union has imposed transformational pressure on the region’s steel production industry by forcing it to buy pollution rights. In addition, a growing number of customers, including car manufacturers, are now calling on steel pipe suppliers to produce in a climate-neutral way in the future and across all stages of the value chain.

Daimler has plans to decarbonize its supply chain by 2039 and require suppliers to produce in a carbon-neutral way. In the next few years, there should be enough green steel to jump-start climate-friendly car production.
In this context, European steel companies have begun to develop green steel. Salzgitt has already started developing green steel and will supply a small amount of the product to Mercedes Benz this year for use in car body structures. The company is also working with mining company Anglo American to optimize iron ore products to reduce its carbon footprint. The company hopes to develop hydrogen-based steel by the end of 2025. The company, which currently emits 8 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, wants to reduce emissions of square steel tube for sale by 50 per cent by 2030 and 95 per cent by 2050.

HYBRIT, which reportedly launched in spring 2016, aims to develop the world’s first mineral-free steelmaking technology. The first large-scale “HYBRIT” demonstration plant broke ground in Luleau, Sweden in 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in 2026. By then, hydrogen will replace carbon as a reducing agent and energy carrier, greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Three Italian companies announced a joint effort to gradually transform the steel industry into a green industry. The three companies have signed a framework agreement to jointly participate in projects to sustainably transform energy-intensive primary plants in the steel industry. The three companies will jointly provide technology and services to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from steel production of rectangular hollow section and establish sustainable innovation models in line with EU emission reduction targets.

In April, Volvo announced that it would use “HYBRIT” steel products to produce concept cars and aim to become the first company to mass-produce cars using green steel by 2026. Still, there are major challenges to overcome in the development of green structural steel pipe, not the least of which is that hydrogen electrolysis requires a lot of electricity. One Swedish company, for example, estimates that it would need about 8.5 gigawatts of renewable energy to fully switch to hydrogen-based direct reduction for steel production, 33% more than the total energy provided by the country’s current installed hydropower and wind projects.

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