Guest essay by Eric Worrall
BlueScope Steel has poured cold water on fantasies that “green steel”, steel produced by hydrogen reduction rather than a fossil fuel powered blast furnace, will be commercially viable anytime soon.
BlueScope’s climate change boss warns green steel still decades off
The chief executive of climate change at BlueScope has addressed investors for the first time in her new role, indicating breakthrough technologies that will allow the company to transition to green steel production are not likely to be available until the 2040s.
- BlueScope’s chief executive of climate change says green steel transition is decades away
- Gretta Stephens addressed the company’s investor briefing for the first time in the new role on Monday
- CEO Mark Vasella also revealed the steel maker was considering plans to diversify its offering in the US
Gretta Stephens was named to lead the steelmaker’s climate change team in February as the business formalised its commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operations by 2050.
During her presentation at the company’s investor briefing on Monday, Ms Stephens said while the decarbonisation process was technically feasible, it was still a long way from being commercially viable.
She said it would be dependent upon access to affordable renewable energy, the availability of competitively priced hydrogen as well as government policy settings that supported the company’s investment.
I think the translation of that corporate gobbledygook is “give us loads of money, and we’ll pretend it is happening”.
Sweden’s SAAB, a rival steel maker, recently claimed a green steel breakthrough.
How do we reconcile BlueScope’s pessimism, with SAAB’s optimism? I’ve got my own views, but I’d love to read everyone elses ideas of what is happening.