US Steel Košice Embraces Decarbonization Plan, Seeks Funding

US Steel Košice, a prominent steelmaker known for its significant carbon emissions, has expressed its appreciation for the allocation of €300 million from
US Steel Košice
US Steel KošiceImage Source – US Steel Košice

US Steel Košice, a prominent steelmaker known for its significant carbon emissions, has expressed its appreciation for the allocation of €300 million from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Plan to support the decarbonization of its steel production. While this funding is a significant step forward, it covers only a fraction of the anticipated costs, which are estimated to exceed €1 billion, reports Spectator

Ján Bača, spokesperson for US Steel Košice, commented, "This is the first of several steps necessary for the thorough consideration of a potential investment into USSK." He added that future investments in decarbonization would depend on various conditions, including grant support through the Modernization Fund, an extended timetable to access the Recovery and Resilience Fund, identification of investment partners, competitive electricity prices in the long term, and approval by the United States Steel Corporation's board of directors.

To achieve greener steel production, the steelmaker plans to replace two out of three blast furnaces with electric arc furnaces. This transition would significantly reduce its reliance on imports of ore and coke from Russia and Ukraine, while also cutting costs associated with emission allowances. The electric arc furnaces would primarily utilize scrap from Slovakia and neighboring countries.

According to the environmental impact assessment submitted last year, the total cost of modernizing the factory for this ambitious plan could reach €1.3 billion. The proposal includes the construction of a new metallurgical plant that integrates production, casting, and steel rolling with advanced technologies. The facility would feature two electric arc furnaces, off-site steel processing facilities, and a continuous casting and hot rolling line, with a production capacity of up to 3.1 million metric tons per year.

The Slovakian Environment Ministry recently announced the allocation of a total of €317 million for green investments to three companies. In addition to U.S. Steel Košice, the cement producer Danucem Slovensko and bricks producer Wienerberger will receive funding. Each of these companies is set to receive €8.4 million. The projects supported by this funding aim to reduce Slovakia's emissions by over 3 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalent annually by 2026, with a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

US Steel Košice's decarbonization plan is a significant step toward achieving greener steel production and reducing Slovakia's carbon footprint. However, further funding and support will be crucial to fully realize this ambitious endeavor.

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