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Preparing for carbon emission reduction, the iron and steel industry can reach the peak before 2030

Date: 2022-05-17
"At present, the world produces about 1.9 billion tons of steel every year and emits 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide. China's steel production accounts for 55% of the world's steel industry, and carbon dioxide emissions account for about 65% of the global steel industry's emissions, so China is under great pressure to reduce emissions. According to the current development model, we can't. We can either reduce steel consumption or reduce the emission intensity per ton of steel." On March 15, Zhong Shaoliang, deputy director general of the world iron and Steel Association and chief representative of the Beijing Representative Office, attended the 2022 global hot spot observation activity hosted by the Beijing Representative Office of the World Resources Research Institute, which was analyzed in an interview with China industry daily.
In its view, China's iron and steel industry still needs to maintain a certain scale in the process of industrialization. It needs to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutralization in a time far shorter than that of developed countries. There is no precedent to follow, huge challenges and a long way to go.
Steel demand will decline and enter the platform period in the short term
On July 16, 2021, China launched the world's largest carbon trading market. According to China's carbon peak action plan before 2030, key industries such as iron and steel, building materials, non-ferrous metals, petrochemical and chemical industries must carry out strong carbon reduction actions as soon as possible.
"The carbon emissions of China's iron and steel industry account for about 17% - 18% of the national carbon emissions. Not only foreign countries pay attention to China's iron and steel industry, but also domestic experts from all walks of life are looking at China's iron and steel industry. China's iron and steel demand will certainly decline in the future, enter the platform period in the short term, decline by 20% - 30% in 2050, and may be in the platform period in the next 5-10 years." Zhong Shaoliang predicted.
On February 7, the Ministry of industry and information technology, the national development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of ecological environment issued the guiding opinions on promoting the high-quality development of the iron and steel industry, adjusted the first draft of the 2021 publication solicitation draft, and postponed the carbon peak time of the iron and steel industry from 2025 to 2030.

"This delay does not mean that the Chinese government has loosened its stance on the carbon peak of the steel industry, but reflects some changes in the expected views of all sectors of society on China's steel demand in the next five to 10 years. Before the epidemic, most people thought that China's steel consumption would reach the peak before 2025, and there would be a rapid decline after the peak. However, according to the observation during the epidemic in the past two years, China's steel consumption in the future will reach the peak The demand for iron may not be as pessimistic as many experts think. If the government forces the steel industry to peak in 2025, there may be a short-term mismatch between supply and demand in some time, which will also lead to significant fluctuations in steel prices and global commodity markets. Therefore, I think it is responsible to postpone the latest peak time from 2025 to 2030. " Zhong Shaoliang analysis.
In the past two sessions of the National People's Congress and the National People's Congress in 2022, many committee members and representatives expressed their views on how to ensure that iron and steel enterprises can achieve peak carbon and carbon neutrality by 2030.
Wu Hongying, deputy to the National People's Congress and general manager of vanadium titanium safety and environmental protection department of Pangang iron and Steel Group, believes that the iron and steel industry is an important field to implement the carbon emission reduction target. It is imperative for iron and steel enterprises to promote low-carbon transformation. They should make early layout and planning, clarify the selection of technical routes and the direction of tackling key problems, vigorously promote green layout, actively promote low-carbon transformation in combination with reality, and respond to the requirements of the country to achieve the "double carbon" goal.
Zhang Fucheng, member of the National Committee of the Chinese people's Political Consultative Conference and President of North China University of technology, believes that carbon neutralization is an important driving force to reshape the output, process and layout of the future iron and steel industry, and the R & D, reserve and application verification of low-carbon steel technology must be accelerated. Scientific and technological innovation is the key variable. Use scientific and technological content to create green content. The iron and steel industry should speed up the research and development of zero carbon metallurgy technology, negative carbon technology, hydrogen metallurgy and all oxygen metallurgy technology, carry out the demonstration and verification of the whole process project of "iron steel rolling", and promote the short process transformation and clean energy substitution of the iron and steel industry.
"This is not to relax the requirements for carbon reduction in the steel industry, but to coincide with the time promised by the state. Because other domestic industries are still in the process of development, and the carbon emissions of these industries are still increasing. Efforts should be made to adjust the product structure and increase the proportion of high-end products and high value-added products. The carbon peak goal of the steel industry is still possible to be achieved by 2025." Li lizhang, deputy to the National People's Congress, Secretary of the Party committee and chairman of Sansteel group, is optimistic.
China industry daily found that at present, China Baowu, Hegang group, Baotou Iron and Steel Group, Anshan Iron and Steel Group, Shaogang Songshan and other iron and steel enterprises have taken the lead in issuing a declaration and put forward a carbon peak carbon neutralization schedule, becoming the first batch of large iron and steel enterprises committed to carbon neutralization in China's iron and steel industry. In the first half of 2021, China Baowu took the lead in releasing the low-carbon metallurgy roadmap, striving to achieve carbon peak in 2023 and carbon neutralization in 2050; Hegang group announced to achieve carbon peak in 2022 and carbon neutralization in 2050; Baotou Iron and Steel Group proposes to take the lead in achieving carbon peak in 2023 and carbon neutralization in 2050; Anshan Iron and Steel Group announced that it would release the road map of low-carbon metallurgy at the end of 2021 and achieve the peak of total carbon emission by 2025; On January 13 this year, Songshan of Shaogang proposed to ensure the establishment of class A enterprises with environmental performance by the end of 2023 and achieve the goal of "carbon peak in 2023 and carbon neutralization in 2050" as scheduled.

Maximize the utilization of scrap steel to realize the effective utilization of the whole process.
In recent years, the amount of scrap steel recycling has continued to grow. In 2019, China recovered about 240.97 million tons of scrap steel, a year-on-year increase of 13.3%. In 2020, the utilization of scrap steel is about 260 million tons. According to the 14th five year plan for the development of circular economy, by 2025, the recycling amount of scrap steel will reach 320 million tons.
"Last year, China recycled about 230 million tons of scrap steel. We should increase the application of scrap steel." Zhong Shaoliang suggested. In its view, we can start from three aspects.
First, at present, the equipment of many recycling enterprises is relatively backward, and some places even use manual sorting and crushing of scrap steel. Therefore, it is necessary to modernize and upgrade the recycling and processing equipment.
Second, the distribution of iron and steel enterprises should be reconsidered. More than ten or twenty years ago, industry experts collectively called for the layout of the iron and steel industry along the coast, but there was not enough scrap along the coast, and many scrap resources were widely distributed in the mainland. Therefore, where the scrap resources are, iron and steel enterprises should build steel plants, rather than choosing coastal plants.
Third, in terms of technology, at present, many leading iron and steel enterprises are reluctant to use too much scrap. They use 15% to produce a ton of steel, and at most 20% are unwilling to increase the amount. Some enterprises can increase it to 25% or 30%. Why are large enterprises unwilling to use scrap steel? Because they usually produce top-grade steel, such as steel plates used by Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz, and using too much scrap will make the composition difficult to control. Especially now, there is a phenomenon that the copper element in scrap is enriched. Because copper is a harmful element, the more copper the scrap contains, the easier it is to produce cracks in the refined steel.
"In the future, China's annual supply of scrap steel will increase from about 230 million tons at present to about 400 million tons in 2050. If large and medium-sized enterprises are not willing to make full use of scrap steel, these 400 million tons of scrap steel will become a very difficult resource to use. We should consider how to remove the harmful elements in scrap steel, either in scrap steel recycling or steelmaking production, so that scrap steel can be used to the greatest extent." Zhong Shaoliang said frankly.
In the past two sessions in 2022, many committee members and representatives also actively offered suggestions on how to use scrap steel.
He Wenbo, member of the CPPCC National Committee, Secretary of the Party committee and executive president of China Iron and Steel Industry Association, suggested that the whole process of iron and steel resources should be effectively utilized. Relevant departments should promote the concentration of scrap industry and cultivate leading enterprises. Promote the improvement and upgrading of the recycling, processing, distribution and circulation system of waste steel resources, and implement the value-added tax policy for comprehensive utilization of resources. And study the preferential value-added tax policies for importing recycled steel raw materials, so as to create conditions for expanding imports.

Yang Weikun, deputy to the National People's Congress and vice mayor of Baoding Municipal People's government, suggested: strengthen the law enforcement of the new solid waste law and promote the transformation and upgrading of the iron and steel industry. "At present, the metallurgical solid waste recycling process still uses the original metallurgical process. The iron obtained in this process is very limited, but it increases carbon emissions and reduces enterprise benefits." Yang Weikun said that it is suggested to strengthen the law enforcement of the new solid waste law, carry out supervision and inspection on solid waste recycling, urge local government departments to implement national laws and promote the construction of China's solid waste recycling system.