US Section 232: Trump runs countercurrent to global steel’s decarbonization drive

The US is taking steps to boost crude steel output as a result of this week’s imposition of Section 232 import tariffs on steel and aluminum – measures that could potentially block some 28 million mt of steel imports and boost local steel production by up to 19.5 million mt. This likely means burning more coal, bringing back on stream up to 5 million mt of idled coke plant capacity to fuel blast furnaces, and greater usage of pollutant lower grade taconite Minnesota and Michigan iron ore which requires more carbon usage, according to analysts at Wood Mackenzie and SP Angel. In short, more carbon emissions and greater energy consumption, including by the “cleaner” electric arc furnace sector which accounts for two-thirds of US steelmaking, running countercurrent to moves in other major steelmaking regions to trim excess capacity and decarbonize.Scale economies should be achieved and domestic market share won: World Steel Association director general Edwin Basson has said that 232 could be a “golden opportunity” for the US steel industry to regain global competitiveness. US Steel has already announced the restart of a 1.2 million st/year blast furnace at Granite City, Illinois, while Nucor has announced a $240 million investment… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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