Global shift in green steel projects as major investments move beyond Europe into Asia.

The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) has updated its Green Steel Tracker, a vital tool for monitoring and advancing low-carbon primary steel production worldwide. This latest release reveals a slowdown in new project announcements in Europe, but a wider spread of new investments globally.

leadit greensteel map v4[42]

Key insights:

  • The latest data includes nine new projects with only two in Europe, suggesting a global shift in investment.
  • After a surge in project announcements from 2020 to 2021, the pace has slowed. For comparison, there were 36 new investments in 2021 alone.
  • For the first time, a Chinese steelmaker has announced the technology used and detailed its investment in a full-scale green hydrogen direct reduction facility.
  • Hydrogen direct reduction (H-DRI) remains the dominant technology in the Green Steel Tracker.
  • While the tracker features 99 projects globally, not all align strongly with a company strategy to achieve net-zero emission by 2050.

We see an encouraging trend that green steel investment announcements are spreading globally with more and more projects outside the EU. However, this positive development for green steel needs to further accelerate as new investments in unmitigated coal-based blast furnaces are still being made in growing economies despite their large emissions

Max Åhman

Associate Professor (Docent) and Head of Division, Environment & Energy Systems at Lund University.

The updated Green Steel Tracker, which now includes data for 99 projects, is available for free download on LeadIT’s website. The tool actively monitors publicly announced investments in primary steel production. Decarbonising steel is vital if global climate goals are to be achieved as the sector accounts for 11% of all CO2 emissions. 

Projects are now categorized based on their level of detail in relation to timeline, planned capacity, investment, technology used and emissions reduction potential:

  • projects that could achieve at least 85% CO2 emission reductions compared to average steelmaking emissions.
  • coal or fossil-based projects that need complementary carbon capture and storage to exceed 50 to 60% emissions reductions, including hydrogen production projects that lack direct ties to iron and steel manufacturing.

LeadIT is collaborating with experts at Lund University, Sweden to ensure the integrity of data and alignment of data with the tracker methodology. Prior to publication the dataset underwent rigorous review by the Lund University team.

 

We observe more new green steel projects being announced outside Europe for the first time. Do we see a growing confidence in technologies demonstrated in Europe in the last few years – maybe?

Per Andersson

Head of LeadIT Secretariat

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