Consortium proposes cleaner steel

European steelmakers, industrial organisations, research institutes and universities have proposed a 40 million Euro integrated project to develop technologies that will substantially reduce CO2 emissions in steelmaking.

A consortium of European steelmakers including Corus, Arcelor and TKS has put forward to the European Commission a 40 million integrated project to develop technologies to reduce CO2 emissions in steelmaking.

Around 40 other European industrial organisations, research institutes and universities will take part in the project.

If accepted by the Commission the programme, known as ULCOS (Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking) could receive up to 50% funding. The research forms part of the ‘European Steel Technology Platform’ launched in Brussels recently.

Europe’s steel industry produces about 160 million tonnes of steel and generates between 90 and 100 billion Euros turnover each year. It has been challenged by the Commission to consider how carbon lean technologies could be applied to reduce CO2 emissions from an industry where the coal and coke-based blast furnace production route currently dominates.

Through efficiency measures, the steel industry is said to have already made great progress, halving CO2 emissions per tonne of steel produced by the blast furnace route over the last 50 years, and is reaching its technological limits.

In the first phase, the ULCOS project will evaluate every reasonable proposal on CO2 emissions reduction using a standardised methodology. According to Corus, the most promising sustainable technologies will be studied in detail and tested on a pilot scale.