Our modern world is heavily reliant on steel. One of the most significant building materials, it is utilised in the making of everything from complex machinery like turbines to simple tools such as cutlery. Inherently possessing valuable properties, steel’s durability, longevity, and versatility make it a foundational piece in our economy.
However, as much as it plays a core role in engineering and construction, this commonly used metal exacerbates climate change. That is not to say that steel is accelerating climate change. The main culprit can be narrowed down to the steel production process, which uses coal to strip oxygen from iron ore. Compared to cars and air travel, steel production reportedly accounts for 7 to 10% of total carbon emissions. This translates to about 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is double the amount produced by air travel.
In order to design a low-carbon future, the agenda of cleaning up steel production is pushed upon leading companies. And even though bending the carbon curve has been proven hard given the traditional steel-making methodology that has been used for years, many companies have been experimenting with innovative techniques to reduce carbon emissions during steel production. One of these new methods is green steel.
Understanding Green Steel
In the traditional steel-making process, oxygen is removed from the iron ore to make pure iron. As mentioned, this is usually done with fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. But for every tonne of steel produced using this method, the chemical reaction emits huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Green steel differs drastically as it uses hydrogen made from renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. Beyond the meaningful reduction in carbon emissions, this move towards the development of zero-carbon steel that leaves coal out of the equation is crucial. Although we’ve only used fossil fuels for approximately 200 years, we’ve consumed large amounts of them. Experts even state that all our fossil fuels might be depleted by 2060 if we continue burning them at current rates. And should fossil fuels run out, detrimental effects are bound to occur. From large-scale international trade shutting down and food chain logistics being disrupted to the economy as a whole grinding to a halt, the list of consequences is extensive. Therefore, the use of green hydrogen and renewable energy in the production of green steel will go a long way in tackling climate change.
The Era of Green Transformation
Steel production is under scrutiny and the race to clean up steel production must be spearheaded by the steel industry without hesitation. But despite green steel naturally looking like the next big thing, it’s a transition that will not happen overnight. Major companies like Mercedes-Benz, for example, have taken a small leap in this direction with their announcement to launch green steel in vehicle models by 2025. As manufacturers like these see the appeal of sustainable manufacturing and make it their goal to decarbonise their supply chains, it’s only a matter of time before the demand for green steel spreads far and wide and reaches its peak.
Approaches Taken on by the Steel Industry
To facilitate this movement towards green steel, there are a few key approaches that must be followed. For one, leading steelmakers should make it their responsibility to reduce the carbon footprint by finding methods to replace the traditional blast furnace process that uses fossil fuels. To further push for the goal of achieving net zero emissions, old steel scraps can be used or reused to produce new steel products. And lastly, is the use of renewable hydrogen to deliver a steady source of green energy to power electric furnaces.
Gunung Prisma understands the ins and outs of the steel market and all the above-mentioned approaches that spearhead the race to a cleaner and more resilient world. This equips us with the ability to identify, source, and deliver the best steel products to our clients who aim to play their part in speeding up the green transition.
Relaying Gunung Prisma’s expertise and unique capabilities, Liwa Supriyanti explains, “Though scaling up green steel projects comes with its challenges, Gunung Prisma is closely following the advancement of green steel. As green steel slowly becomes a competitive market on its own accord in the coming years, we will ride the green transformation wave alongside the steelmakers and our clients.”
Gunung Prisma’s Green Commitment
Gunung Prisma is well aware of the increasing climate-consciousness among clients and end-consumers. As such, we stay true to our green commitment so that we retain our climate-friendly company label in not just Indonesia, but also across the globe. Clients aside, strengthening the communities of the future also remains as one of our top priorities.
Our vision and mission revolve around being the leading global company that provides holistic steel solutions and delivers superior value to customers and shareholders. We are able to take custom orders based on your needs and source quality products at affordable prices. Since steel requires the sourcing of biomass sustainably, and the efficient capturing and storing of fossil fuel-derived emissions, the technology needed for the creation of green steel is currently expensive for most steelmakers. But with the wide circle of connections Liwa Supriyanti and Gunung Prisma have, our clients can rest assured that their financial and green needs are met while also making a crucial contribution to the net zero movement.