Vale and Nippon Steel sign MOU to develop decarbonization technologies in steelmaking

Brazilian miner Vale and Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue ironmaking solutions focused on carbon-neutral steelmaking processes, the two companies said in separate statements April 26.

Based on this MOU, Nippon Steel and Vale will jointly study and explore the utilization of raw materials which contribute to direct reduced iron, so-called green mold pig iron — in which molten iron produced using carbon neutral carbon materials is cooled and solidified — and green briquettes — raw materials in which iron ore fines are molded using pressure, without the use of heat — as well as other carbon neutral steelmaking processes.

The companies said they expect the initiative to help reduce emissions.

Vale has already announced to target to reduce 15% of its net Scope 3 emissions by 2035.

In addition, the company is seeking to cut its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, as within the Paris Agreement. As part of this commitment, the company closed the sale of its coal assets on April 25.

In March 2021, Nippon Steel announced its “Nippon Steel Carbon Neutral Vision 2050” initiative, positioning environmental issues on a global scale.

Nippon Steel is Japan’s largest and one of the world’s leading integrated steel producers. Beyond its six steelworks in Japan, the company makes a wide range of value-added steel products in more than 15 countries.

Vale is a major iron ore, nickel and copper producer.

— Annalisa Villa