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TATA Steel Transitioning towards Green Steel Manufacturing

Tata green steel

TATA GREEN STEEL MANUFACTURING: Decarbonization is a hot topic for the past few years, particularly because of the rising concerns about climate change. With global conferences like COP’26 and the Paris agreement, leaders of respective countries are coming together to discuss, draft and take actions to keep the warming temperatures below the 1.5° C mark.

Steel Industry has long been contributing to the global CO2 emissions, currently producing 5% of the global CO2 emissions. Mckinsey reported in 2020, that of the total global Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the year 2018, the Steel industry contributed about 8%. An average of 1.85 tons of CO2 was emitted for every ton of steel produced.

When we talk of steel in India, Tata Steel pops first in our minds. This is because Tata Steel formerly known as Tata Iron and Steel Company(TISCO) is the first company and thus has the oldest steel plant in India. TISCO was established by Jamsetji Tata in 1907 and the production of steel started in 1911. Over the years, Tata Steel has established itself as a global player.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Tata Steel Europe to make steel through hydrogen

As per the report by the German consultancy firm, Roland Berger, it has been reported that Tata Steel Netherlands and Tata Steel UK are the subsidiaries of Tata Steel operating in Europe. These firms are making attempts to produce green steel by switching to electric blast furnaces in the UK and adopting Hydrogen technologies in the Netherlands.

Read more: Independent study by FNV and Tata Steel: green steel production feasible

The blast furnace which heats the iron ore to produce crude steel will now use electricity to perform the process by using combinations of electrodes that at high voltage will heat the ore.

Tata Steel IJmuiden plant | Source: Tata Steel Europe

With the Dutch government’s support, Tata says that it will replace its coal-fired blast furnaces with a process fuelled by Green Hydrogen or Natural Gas by 2030.

All of this is because, the Tata Steel IJmuiden plant is one of the main polluters in the country. As the toxins from the factory have posed a serious health risk for people living nearby. Earlier carbon capture and storage in the North sea was discussed by the company’s officials. But, since it would also require an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and subsidies from the Dutch government, the idea was scrapped. Now, the company will directly invest in Green Hydrogen Technologies and Solutions.

In a bid to fast-track the process, Tata Steel said it will invest 65 million euros in this next transition into the green hydrogen chapter. Tata has roped in “McDermott”, which is responsible for the construction input and support of the technical project management. “Danieli”, provides solutions of engineering design for the plant and technology that delivers the Direct Reduced Iron (DRI), the 1st step in the iron-making process. “Hatch” is the technology licensor of the electric furnaces (REF) that melt the DRI and help to reduce the oxygen content further. Thereby, improving the final steel quality. The REF and DRI plants are closely coupled to form an integrated production system.

Read more: Tata Steel invests 65 million euro in next phase hydrogen route

TATA aims to #GoGreen

Prior to this, it has been brought up recently that Tata Steel UK might probably exit the UK market if the conditions laid down by the Steel group are not met by the government. The Steel maker has asked for a relief package of 1.5 billion pounds from the UK government to meet the green goals of the country. The company stated that the total amount for the transition from the blast furnace to the electric furnace is 3 billion pounds. They requested that half of which must be supported by the UK government.

Tata Steel and Chinese Jingye-owned British Steel have been major players in the UK. They produce about 70% of the 10 million tons of steel consumed by the UK each year. The Indian steel manufacturer directly employs 9000 people via its plant at Port Talbot and other locations.

Reduction of Carbon emissions by 20-30% over the decades, thanks to the timely advancements and adoption of state-of-the-art technologies by the steel players. What still remains to be seen is how long would it take for the development and deployment of these technologies to replace the current practices. 

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