As a major carbon emitter, the green and low-carbon transformation of the steel industry has attracted much market attention.
"As of August 25, 172 million tons of steel production capacity has completed the whole process of ultra-low emission transformation and passed the steel association's assessment and monitoring of the public, and the cumulative investment in ultra-low emission transformation of national steel enterprises has exceeded 150 billion yuan." He Wenbo, executive chairman of the China Iron and Steel Industry Association, revealed the above data at the 2022 China Iron and Steel Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Forum held by the Institute of Metallurgical Industry Planning on the 27th.
Carbon emissions from the steel industry account for about 15% of the country's total carbon emissions, and is the industry with the largest carbon emissions among 31 categories in the manufacturing industry, while also providing important support for China's high-quality economic development.
The iron and steel industry's ultra-low emission transformation has been included as a major project in the National 14th Five-Year Plan. Liu Bingjiang, Director General of the Department of Atmospheric Environment of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said at the forum that this major air pollution prevention and control project will force steel enterprises to merge and restructure, upgrade their equipment, enhance the overall green and low-carbon development of the steel industry, help leverage effective social investment and stabilise economic growth, and is an important grip for promoting the "double carbon" work. It is also an important measure to deal with the relationship between development and emission reduction.
Liu Bingjiang pointed out that the transformation of iron and steel ultra-low emissions to promote the industry's high-quality development and promote the improvement of air quality has made a significant contribution to promote the overall level of the industry continues to improve, but also to promote the application of a number of new technologies for pollution prevention and control, leading to the rapid development of related environmental industries.
He said, for example, that in the first half of this year, China's new energy heavy truck sales reached 10,100 units, an increase of 491% year-on-year, and the top 10 new energy heavy truck sales were mainly concentrated in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas, with Tangshan City accounting for nearly 20% of the country. Steel ultra-low emission transformation has opened up a high growth channel for new energy heavy truck consumption, providing an application scenario that has boosted consumer confidence in the heavy truck market and promoted the development of the country's new energy vehicle industry.
Since the second quarter of this year, due to the steel demand recovery is less than expected, the high cost of raw fuel, the steel industry economic operation is obvious downward trend. He Wenbo said that the industry is facing a severe market situation, energy saving and emission reduction work is facing many challenges and difficulties. The decline in corporate profits, for enterprises to promote ultra-low emission transformation, low-carbon transformation to explore the work caused a certain impact, mainly in the capital investment and future expectations of the two aspects.
However, he also pointed out that "the more you are at a low point, the more you cannot lie flat". The market pressure will promote the environmental technology and engineering industry common technology research and development and mature technology promotion and application, thus turning the crisis into opportunities. To this end, enterprises will be assessed to achieve overall optimisation of technical solutions and engineering progress, while the government will further optimise policy guidance and strengthen incentives and penalties to facilitate the elimination of winners and losers.
Regarding the green and low-carbon development of the steel industry, He Wenbo suggested that the industrial structure should be optimised and adjusted. In the short term, encourage in-situ transformation of blast furnace-converter long process enterprises to develop short process electric furnace steel; encourage the layout of small and medium-sized electric furnace steel enterprises in the city and its surrounding areas that meet the requirements of relevant policies and regulations, and collaborate to consume the surrounding waste. In the medium and long term, we should further strengthen the research and development and industrial application of low-carbon metallurgical technologies such as blast furnace hydrogen-rich smelting to help fossil-free energy smelting and achieve pollution and carbon reduction at source.
On August 1 this year, the Development and Reform Commission and three other ministries and commissions issued the "Implementation Plan for Carbon Peaking in the Industrial Sector", which specifies the development target of "short process steelmaking accounting for more than 15% by 2025 and more than 20% by 2030". and Implementation Plan (2022-2030)" proposed to research and develop integrated optimization technology for all-scrap electric furnace processes, hydrogen-rich or pure hydrogen gas smelting technology, integrated steel-chemical co-production technology, and high-quality ecological steel material preparation technology.
Xiong Zhe, director of the Carbon Neutral Policy Division of the Department of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the forum that energy saving and carbon reduction is the main direction to promote the green and low-carbon transformation of traditional industries, and to promote the centralized and concentrated development of the steel industry to form a scale effect and improve the level of intensification, modernization and greening.
Xiong Zhe said that a green and low-carbon energy flow and industry chain should be built. Promote clean energy alternatives, encourage the construction of industrial green microgrids, support steel enterprises to make full use of large rooftop resources, invest in the construction of distributed photovoltaic power generation projects by self-built or leased, and improve the proportion of green power use by enterprises. Promote the construction of green manufacturing system, carry out green design of steel products based on the concept of green development of the whole product life cycle, and develop high-quality, high-strength and long-life steel green design products.
Fan Tiejun, President of the Institute of Metallurgical Industry Planning, believes that China's steel industry is currently moving from the stage of secondary energy "utilization" to the stage of "mixing" old and new energy sources. In this critical transition period, based on the basic national conditions of coal-based, China's steel industry should coordinate the promotion of fossil and non-fossil energy to complement each other, relying on energy storage system bridge, and focus on building a combination of multi-energy and energy storage energy system.
"For steel enterprises, each enterprise's production methods, equipment level, process structure, and geographical energy supply conditions are different, and the development stage is not the same." Fan Tiejun suggested that steel companies should correctly understand and grasp the importance of energy transition in the double carbon process, objectively assess energy efficiency levels and develop measures to meet national policy requirements, fight for more development space for their enterprises to cope with the adverse effects of double control of energy consumption, and lay out future energy systems such as hydrogen energy in advance to achieve high-quality development of energy transition.