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A promising start that needs to meet climate change challenge - EUROFER

Steel News - Published on Thu, 14 Jun 2018

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The European Steel Association’s has welcomed the ambitious EUR 100 billion Horizon Europe research and innovation program proposal for the 2021-2027 period, designed to succeed Horizon 2020. The dedicated areas of intervention for ‘low carbon and clean industry’ and ‘circular industries’ are a clear sign that the European Commission is putting the issue of industrial emissions high on the political agenda.

Mr Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER said that “The European steel industry is at the forefront of low-carbon innovation in its field. However, steelmaking today is at its technical and thermodynamic limits. We thus need to deploy breakthrough technologies to further reduce CO2 emissions and commitments to the EU’s ambitious climate objectives”.

At European Steel Day 2018 on 7 June, leaders from the European steel industry highlighted several ongoing low-carbon innovation projects they are working on. However, they also pointed out that deploying these projects will cost up to €10 billion over the next ten-to-fifteen years.

Mr Eggert added that “Innovation on an industrial scale is very capital intensive. Horizon Europe has to provide the right framework and financing to make the deployment of industrial demonstrator-level projects a reality. We are at an inflection that we cannot afford to miss.”

EUROFER has set out its technological pathways for CO2 reduction in a discussion paper called Towards an EU Masterplan for a Low-Carbon, Competitive European Steel Value Chain. This document shows that Smart Carbon Usage (SCU) and Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from the steel industry by up to 80% or more. However, such projects are fraught with the risk of failure.

Mr Eggert added that “Innovation is not without risk – and as an industry engaging in difficult, expensive research whilst operating in a fiercely competitive market, a joint effort is needed to succeed. The business-as-usual scenario will only deliver smaller, scattered projects doomed to struggle at lower levels of technical readiness”.

Mr Eggert concluded that “We call on the EU institutions to agree to a large-scale initiative – a Joint Technology Initiative addressing low-carbon steel steelmaking. The best way to achieve our objective is through an institutionalised European partnership; that is, a joint effort by industry and policy makers. EUROFER welcomes this start to the Horizon Europe legislative process. Horizon Europe must be fit to address the most urgent societal challenge facing mankind: climate change. We stand ready to work with policy makers to deal with it.”

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Thu, 14 Jun 2018
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