The rapidly increasing tonnages of steel produced since the early 2000s will begin to enter the scrap market in the next decade, enabling a significant reduction of steel industry emissions, says worldsteel. The majority of scrap supply growth will come from China and other Asia, Kallanish notes.
Global steelmaking capacity experienced a phase of explosive growth from the early 2000s largely fuelled by investment in new capacity in China. With steel products having an average lifespan of 40 years, this steel will come up for recycling from the 2030s, the association observes. Global end-of-live scrap availability is forecasted at 600 million tonnes in 2030 and 900mt in 2050, with China, especially, increasing its share dramatically.
Today, it is estimated that the global steel industry annually uses about 2 billion tonnes of iron ore, 1 billion tonnes of metallurgical coal and 575mt of steel scrap to produce about 1.7 billion tonnes of crude steel.
Scrap plays a key role in reducing industry emissions and resource consumption. Every tonne of scrap used for steel production avoids the emission of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and the consumption of 1.4 tonnes of iron ore, 740kg of coal and 120kg of limestone. The future expansion of scrap-based steel production will depend on the availability of high-grade scrap, worldsteel points out.
Adam Smith Germany