Making the most of the energy we use
The chemistry of steelmaking means that we won’t get away from using carbon completely – in the medium term at least – but by thinking innovatively about our processes we can make the carbon we do use work harder, and reduce overall CO2 emissions by helping others avoid carbon use.
What does this mean in practice? First, it involves ensuring we don't waste energy. We continually seek ways to recycle energy within our own operations, and in several sites we directly export energy as heat, steam or electricity for local businesses or communities. Our plant in Tubarão in Brazil, for example, generated 2,816,557 MWh electricity from its waste gases in 2016, enough both for its own consumption and to export 732,074 MWh to the grid –supplying the equivalent of over 331,000 homes a year. As technology advances, we think there will be opportunities for our sites to do more of this – generating and even using the technology within a steel plant to store energy to smooth out intermittencies in the electricity grid.