Netherlands mining and metallurgical company Metinvest B.V. (Metinvest) intends to produce all its steel in electric furnaces using direct reduced iron by 2050 as part of the phase-out of sinter and coke, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% compared to current levels, said in interview S&P Global Platts Metinvest CEO Yuri Ryzhenkov.
Metinvest, which accounted for 45% (9.5 million tons) of steel production in Ukraine in 2021, is finalizing its decarbonization roadmap to be released this spring. The company will also finalize its technology strategy by the end of 2022.
In broad terms, Metinvest intends to replace most of its blast furnaces and BOFs with electric arc furnaces by 2040, Ryzhenkov said in an interview with Platts.
At the same time, the company's coking coal assets will remain part of its decarbonization plan, as Metinvest will continue to need coal for its sinter operations until the blast furnaces are decommissioned.
All sintering and blast furnace operations will be phased out by 2050, and production will be fully converted to electric arc furnaces using direct reduced iron. By 2030, the first electric arc furnaces and at least one direct reduction iron (DRI) module will be in operation.
"Because we are not sure hydrogen will be economically available at this time, the new facility will initially run on natural gas, but CO2 emissions will still be significantly reduced," Ryzhenkov said, adding that the company is still deciding where to locate the first object - at Azovstal or at the plant named after Ilyich, both in Mariupol.
Metinvest, which has already invited major equipment manufacturers to submit proposals, will conduct a feasibility study during January-June and select a site for the first complex by the end of the year.
In the next few years, Metinvest will create a capacity for the production of DR pellets with a capacity of 5 million tons per year at the Northern GOK, also in Dnepropetrovsk. The capacity of two GOKs should be enough to power the first DRI module by the time it is launched.
To achieve the above, Metinvest expects an annual capital investment of $1.3-1.5 billion over the next 3-4 years, with further investment dependent on its progress towards green metallurgy.