The political basis for the transition of the European steel industry to green steel and the current year could be a turning point in the development of the steel industry in Europe, Geerd van Pulvoorde, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, said at the Zukunft Stahl conference in Düsseldorf at the end of last week.p>
"2022 will decide how big or small the European steel industry will be in the future," he said.
According to Hans Jürgen Kerckhoff, President of the German Steel Industry Association, the industry has "effective leverage to reduce CO2 emissions". But time is pressing. "We need more speed."
Green steel, made with hydrogen instead of carbon, is currently a hot topic in the industry. The steel industry accounts for 30 percent of industrial emissions in Germany. According to experts, if Germany wants to achieve its climate goals, by 2030 about a third of primary steel production will have to be converted to direct reduction technology using hydrogen, and by 2045 all blast furnaces will have to be replaced.
In 2021, the rapid rise in electricity and natural gas prices led to an increase in costs for metallurgists. According to the CEO of ThyssenKrupp, if companies in such conditions have to depend on third-party suppliers of gas and energy, metallurgical plants will have to be stopped, as they will become unprofitable.
Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at the German Commerzbank, predicted in this regard that steel production in the EU will never again return to the record level of 2017, decarbonization will lead to a reduction in steel production.
According to experts, switching to hydrogen would increase the cost of steel production by 70% and make a middle-class car at least 1000 euros more expensive.