Brazilian AVB Claims to be World's First Carbon Neutral Steel Mill
Ferroeste Group’s Aço Verde do Brasil was certified as the first steel mill in the world to produce carbon neutral steel. AVB CEO Mr Ricardo Carvalho said
Ferroeste Group’s Aço Verde do Brasil was certified as the first steel mill in the world to produce carbon neutral steel. AVB CEO Mr Ricardo Carvalho said “AVB's green steel is, until then, the only carbon-neutral steel in the world. In other words, we do not contribute to global warming.” To achieve this certification, AVB adopted a series of measures. Mr Carvalho said “We opted for the integrated production route based on reforested charcoal, the main raw material used in blast furnaces and which has zero carbon emissions. We have also implemented several technologies, such as the reuse of 100% of process gases, which aimed to eliminate the need for the use of fossil fuels and the reuse of solid waste, guaranteeing a sustainable steel product with a neutral carbon footprint.”
To this end, the company develops a series of long-term projects. Among them, the initiative to produce charcoal using a new type of industrial oven, of its own patent and engineering, which will double the firewood / coal yields compared to traditional processes, drastically reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, coal smoke, which is currently discarded, will be converted into electrical energy, tar and pyroligneous acid and subsequently sold. The company will also generate renewable energy through a thermoelectric plant using blast furnace gas. The thermoelectric plant will start operating in 2021 and will generate 50% of the energy consumed by the plant through a boiler powered by blast furnace gases.
The other initiatives include the production of cold briquettes, reusing all solid waste, which until then had no use. The use of these briquettes will reduce the consumption of iron ore and charcoal by 10% and will make waste yards a thing of the past at AVB. The corporation also has a large forest area with commercial plantations and 40% of environmental preservation areas. In addition to ensuring the preservation of important areas of the national territory, eucalyptus trees are used in the production of charcoal that supplies the plant, as explained by Ricardo Carvalho: “These areas, through photosynthesis, sequester large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere”.
AVB's long steel mill is located in Açailândia, a municipality in the state of Maranhão with 100,000 inhabitants located 560 kilometers from the capital, São Luís. Known as an important industrial hub, the city has been hosting the steel mill in Brazil since 1990. Currently, the plant has an installed capacity of 600 thousand tonnes per yea
The certification was issued by the Société Généra le de Sur veillance, contracted to verify AVB's greenhouse gas emissions inventory between 2018 and 2019. The work followed the GHG Protocol and the methodologies internationally recognized by the World Steel Association . AVB chose the indicator “ratio of tons of CO2 per ton of crude steel” to guide the company's operational and investment decisions. When considering the “credit” resulting from the sale of slag for cement production, the values for the years 2018 and 2019 were 0.10 and 0.06 ton of CO2 per ton of crude steel respectively that is, practically zero .In the world, the values of integrated plants are much higher. They range from 1.56 to 3.38 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of crude steel