The Czech Steel Union said that there is no other technology for the production of primary steel, except for blast furnaces, in the country and will not be for a long time, and the transition to hydrogen will consume a third of the current electricity of the entire republic.
“We estimate that the production of 5 million tonnes of hydrogen steel in the Czech Republic will represent a tenfold increase in the industry's energy consumption to about 21 TWh per year. This is almost a third of the consumption in the entire Czech Republic and ten times more than today in the Czech steel industry, ”said Daniel Urban, President of the Board of the Czech Steel Union.
He questioned the ability of the Czech energy sector to supply so much green energy, because this is the only way it makes sense to ditch coal.
Czech steel producers also drew attention to the situation with the EU emissions trading system. First, it does not cover the entire economy, which reduces the competitiveness of some of its industries. Second, the spike in emissions prices hit energy-intensive sectors even more.
In February, the price of CO 2 emissions rights reached 40 euros, which means that in two years their value, having increased by 30 euros, quadrupled.
“Such a sharp rise in emissions prices surprises everyone, including the European Commission. There is a danger that companies deciding to make major investments in reducing emissions could suffer because of this, says Jan Czudek, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Unia Stalowa and Managing Director of the Třinecké železárny Steel Works.
He also notes that due to the slow process of granting the necessary permits in the Czech Republic, companies will spend more and more money on emission allowances instead of investing in the development of new clean technologies over the next 5-10 years. This will clearly worsen their global competitiveness.
“The slow development of carbon-free technologies means that the metallurgical industry will for a long time be doomed to use coke, which is not a fuel in a blast furnace, but a chemical agent necessary to reduce iron ore to pig iron from which steel is produced. We have no other technology for primary steel production, and we will not have it for a long time, ”adds Jan Czudek.