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Use of clean energy sources to rise in heavy industry

Energy intensive industries must take more steps to update their business practices as expectations around decarbonization increase globally.

Speaking at the International Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage conference in Riyadh, Andrew Purvis, Director, Safety, Health and Environment at the World Steel Association highlighted future approaches that will be required in the steel industry. He said the industry is responsible for 7-9% of carbon dioxide emissions globally, and that for this to decline, new approaches were required.

Purvis said best practice would include reuse, by maximizing usage of scrap, and introducing breakthrough technologies. It is estimated that even if the use of scrap increases, raw steel making will still be 1 million tonnes worldwide by the end of the century. To combat emissions associated with steel manufacture, he told delegates that industrial complexes will need to look at other forms of energy, including green hydrogen and biomass.

Widespread adoption of carbon capture will also be necessary, and it is likely that this will be a condition from investment houses if projects are to be bankable.

This was echoed elsewhere in the conference, with panellists highlighting that industrial facilities needed to ensure they did not become a stranded asset – and so unattractive to investors – by embracing clean fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia. For this to happen, infrastructure needs to be in place. Pete Trelenberg, Manager, Environmental Policy & Planning for ExxonMobil expected hydrogen to be used first in industrial complexes, and from there move into heavy transport.

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