Spain`s steelmakers to slash CO₂ emissions by 2050

The Spanish steel sector is undertaking a project to produce steel with zero emissions of CO₂ before 2050, according to a statement issued by the local steelmakers’ association Unesid, monitored by Kallanish.

The objective is technologically feasible and will place Spain`s steel industry in a leading position in the world and also meet the European Union`s lower carbon emissions guidance, Unesid says.

“The Spanish steel sector has been advancing with spectacular environmental progress for many years. The CO₂ emissions per tonne have fallen by 75% in production, the use of water and discharged in the processes has decreased by more than 95% and practically 100% of waste and by-products are recycled and recovered,” Unesid president Bernardo Velázquez says.

66% of Spanish steel is produced by the electric melting route. The Spanish steel industry also recycles 10.2 million tonnes of steel annually or 71% of total national production.

The zero-emission steel production plan, however, faces a series of obstacles such as the high energy cost or global overcapacity of steel production. This reduces the margins of business and hinders the attraction of investment, Velázquez warns.

The Spanish steel sector considers the collaboration of different sectoral administrations in this process as “… essential”. Unesid is also calling for competitive electricity prices, the financing of more research projects and better public purchasing of more environmentally-friendly steels.