Japanese steelmaker, Nippon, aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, joining the increasing trend of replacing coke with hydrogen as a reducing agent in steel production.
The example set by Nippon is anticipated to encourage other steelmakers to follow suit, according to media reports, while also meeting the prime minister of Japan’s undertaking to reach carbon neutrality.
The company indicated it will present new steelmaking methods that will cut carbon emissions as much as 80pc through hydrogen use instead of traditional production modes. New plans will be revealed as part of its business strategy scheduled for distribution around March 2021.
Nippon’s new green targets are also aligned with its recently unveiled plans to increase overseas steel production.
The company will also fast-track its transfer to environmentally friendly electric arc furnaces (EAFs) as it moves away from outdated capacities. It will first use an EAF in a steel plant in Hyogo Prefecture during the financial year ending March 2023, with plans to continue expanding the method.
The steel industry creates the most carbon emissions within the manufacturing section. The complete sector tallied at 364mn mt out of 1bn mt of total 2019 emissions. In Japan, the steel industry emitted 155mn mt, of which Nippon accounted for 94mn mt in 2019, per media reports.