The scrap metal sector is facing a significant opportunity for growth, especially in the transition towards greener steel production. Industry experts like Kedar Joshi and Davide Braga emphasize the need for technological advancements and protective legislation to meet the increasing demand for recycled steel, reports Recycling Products News
Statistics show varying proportions of recycled steel used in crude steel production across different countries. For instance, in China, the rate stands at 21.7%, whereas in the EU-27 and the USA, it's 60.3% and 54.7% respectively. These numbers point towards an increasing recognition of the importance of recycled steel in reducing carbon footprints.
In recent developments, Kedar Joshi pointed out that scrap traders and recyclers are starting to receive the attention they deserve. According to the World Economic Forum, an estimated 6.5 billion metric tons of materials, including steel, will be needed between now and 2050 for the energy transition. This underlines the critical role of the scrap metal sector.
Joshi also noted that integrated mills would need to ramp up their utilization of scrap metal to meet increasing investor and community demands for lower carbon emissions. Furthermore, higher demand for products with environmentally responsible footprints will also bolster the need for recycled steel.
A shift in traditional trade routes due to growing protectionism and political factors is also occurring. Over 60 countries are either in the process of or have already restricted exports to support domestic producers, impacting the global scrap metal market.
For the industry to meet the rising demand, there's a need for better technology. Joshi referred to this as moving into "industry 4.0," where advanced methods for identifying, sorting, processing, and shipping materials are required.
According to Davide Braga, steel demand will continue to grow slowly up to 2050, and mill owners will aim to cut CO₂ emissions by between 70% and 90%. This transition towards electric arc furnaces will necessitate more than an extra 300 million metric tons of scrap per year.
The scrap metal sector is poised for a significant role in the push towards greener steel production. With growing recognition from various stakeholders and the need for new technological approaches, the industry is set for a substantial surge, beneficial both economically and environmentally.