Tata Steel, the UK’s largest steel producer, has begun sales of certified low-CO2 steel to customers, the company said Oct. 31.
The lower CO2 certified steel, named “Optemis Carbon Lite,” is based on CO2 savings achieved by Tata Steel in the UK and is verified by independent assurance experts DNV, a company spokesperson said in an email.
Optemis Carbon Lite is being offered as a result of “growing demand from consumer-facing industries such as construction, automotive, packaging, and white goods makers,” according to a Tata Steel UK statement.
The UK launch follows the launch in July of Zeremis Carbon Lite by Tata Steel Netherlands. Zeremis Carbon Lite has an allocated carbon footprint reduction of up to 100% and is also aimed mainly at consumer-facing industries.
Optemis Carbon Lite’s customers have not yet been named. However, feedback from customers was described by the spokesperson as “very positive.”
“This is a flexible certificated scheme (using a mass balanced approach) allowing customers to specify the CO2 reduction they want,” the spokesperson said.
The premium charged for the new steel brand was described as a “commercially sensitive” matter.
Tata Steel UK aims to reduce all CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and be a CO2 neutral steelmaker by 2045 – in support of the UK’s ambition to be net-zero by 2050.
‘Speeding up our decarbonisation’
Tata Steel UK recently said it was to formally adopt science-based targets with respect to its program of emission reductions and carbon neutral steelmaking aspirations. The company has been working on a number of projects to reduce CO2 emissions which can now be passed on to customers in the form of certificates allowing them to make Scope 3 emissions savings.
The certificate-based insetting scheme, verified by external third party assurance organization DNV, is a flexible offering allowing customers to choose the CO2 intensity reduction they need, the company said.
Tata Steel’s chief commercial officer, Anil Jhanji, stated that production of the low-carbon steel is possible due to “investments we have made which have had a material impact on lowering our CO2 emissions.”
“Revenues generated from the sale of Optemis Carbon Lite certificates will be used to fund additional projects generating further CO2 savings,” Jhanji said. “These projects would then be verified by DNV, speeding up our decarbonisation. The savings will also help customers achieve their CO2 targets and flow down supply chains.”
Tata Steel UK also announced it is set to commit its integrated Port Talbot site in South Wales to become accredited to ResponsibleSteel certification, the first international standard to set out certifiable requirements for responsible processing and production of steel.
Projects including upgrades to the Port Talbot power plant, installing electric ovens, switching to renewable electricity and increasing steel scrap usage have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by tens of thousands of tons a year, according to Tata.
Tata Steel UK is also working closely with other industries in the South Wales Industrial Cluster – of which Tata Steel is a founding member – to explore how they can support each other in the decarbonization of the region. The company is collaborating with the University of South Wales on biological fermentation to generate acetates, a high value chemical, from waste carbon and working with Project MESH, led by Swansea University, on thermochemical storage of heat from steelmaking operations, it said.
New ResponsibleSteel certifications
Two more major steelmaking sites have gained ResponsibleSteel certification, the not-for-profit standard and certification organization said Oct. 31. The Pohang and Gwangyang Steelworks in South Korea operated by Posco together with the Jamshedpur site in India operated by Tata Steel are the world’s largest steel sites so far to achieve this certification, the not-for-profit standard and certification organization said.
ResponsibleSteel now has around 13% of the world’s steel industry by volume in its membership, with certified sites on five continents covering the production of over 100 million mt of steel, the organization said in a statement.
“With Asia home to 72% of the world’s steel production, the achievement of site certification by these three substantial steel plants takes ResponsibleSteel into a new phase, one of global roll out,” said Annie Heaton, CEO of ResponsibleSteel, speaking at a Memphis forum on responsibly-produced steel.
The new additions to the ResponsibleSteel Standard mean that “103.5 million mt of steel and the working lives of 157,400 people are managed by sites that are now independently audited every 18 months,” Heaton said.
“Globally, the steel industry is at a critical juncture and the larger impact of how we produce and consume steel needs to be addressed urgently,” T. V. Narendran, CEO and managing director, Tata Steel, said.
Tata Steel, which started producing steel at Jamshedpur, India, in 1912, has now received ResponsibleSteel Certification for three of its facilities and will work towards achieving this recognition for all its production sites, he said.
— Diana Kinch