Nippon Steel Takes the Challenge of Zero Carbon Steel
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Nippon Steel Takes the Challenge of Zero Carbon Steel

Nippon Steel in new medium to long term management plan has announced that as a part of widespread efforts toward achieving a decarbonized society,

Nippon Steel in new medium to long term management plan has announced that as a part of widespread efforts toward achieving a decarbonized society, by adopting Nippon Steel Carbon Neutral Vision 2050 A Challenge of Zero-Carbon Steel as our own new initiative, Nippon Steel will consider and implement various measures as a top priority management issue in order to win development competitions with competitors in Europe, the United States, China and South Korea and to continue to lead the world’s steel industry. By 2030, Nippon Steel plan is to achieve reduction of CO2 emissions by 30% compared to 2013 through the practical implementation of COURSE505 into the current blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace processes, reduction of CO2 emissions in existing processes, and establishment of an efficient production framework.

Toward 2050, Nippon Steel will take on the challenge of adopting ultra-innovative technologies such as mass production of high-grade steel in electric furnaces, drastic reduction of CO2 emissions through Super-COURSE506 and other developments in hydrogen reduction methods, and production of direct reduction iron using hydrogen, and we will aim to achieve carbon neutrality by taking a multi-aspect approach, including measures to offset carbon through CCUS7 and other methods. In particular, the 100% hydrogen direct reduction method of steelmaking, which is the ultimate zero carbon steelmaking technology, is an unprecedented technology that is not yet proven and possesses extremely high innovation hurdles. In addition, the mass production of high-grade steel by electric furnaces requires the development and use of extremely complex technology, an increase in size and efficiency, and the establishment of technology for eliminating harmful elements from hazardous materials. Realization of the blast furnace hydrogen reduction method will also require the establishment of technology related to hydrogen heating and blowing of endothermic reactions during hydrogen reduction. These innovations will require R&D expenses of approximately JPY 500 billion and JPY 4 to 5 trillion in investments in facilities. Moreover, it is possible that the production cost of crude steel even in the best-case scenario as of 2050, which factors in potential external conditions, Nippon Steel be more than double that of current costs.

The above mentioned zero-carbon steel cannot be achieved by the steel industry alone. The list of premises for realization includes

1. Long-term and continuous government support for research and development of non-continuous innovation and equipment implementation.

2. Establishment of inexpensive and stable large-scale hydrogen supply infrastructure

3. Realization of carbon free power at an internationally competitive cost.

4. Promotion of national projects for the development and commercialization of economically viable CCUS

5. Securing equal-footing in international competition

6. Establishment of a system that enormous costs will be borne by society as a whole.

In addition to promoting fundamental technological innovations in the steelmaking process, Nippon Steel will contribute to the realization of carbon neutrality with our products contributing to C02 emission reduction, through development and supply capacity increase of high-performance products such as ultra-high-tensile strength steel sheets for body weight reduction and high-performance electric steel sheets for drive motors which are used in electric vehicles, by building the next-generation hot strip mill at the Nagoya Works and the strengthening of the production framework for electric steel sheets.

COURSE50 is a project to develop technology to partially use hydrogen in the blast furnace reduction of iron ore, instead of coking coal.

Super-COURSE50 is a subsequent project to develop technology to raise the hydrogen reduction ratio in the blast furnace steelmaking method.

Carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage is a technology which separates and recovers CO2 in gases, utilizes it in the form of chemicals and fuels, or stores it underground.

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