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Tata takes the plunge after turbulent weeks: it will make steel based on natural gas and hydrogen

In the coming years, Tata Steel will make production greener by switching to making steel from natural gas and later hydrogen. The company announced this on Wednesday afternoon. The option to CO2 storage – the official preference of the management for almost a year – will be deleted, because in this case the nuisance for the environment will not decrease.

In the past two weeks, the pressure on the factory (9,000 employees) to opt for natural gas and hydrogen had already increased. Tata Steel, responsible for 7 percent of the national CO2emissions, is under fire for its impact on the environment. For example, a recent RIVM report showed that children who play outside in Wijk aan Zee can come into contact with excessive amounts of lead, which can be harmful to health.

When making steel with natural gas and hydrogen, the impact on the environment decreases faster than when capturing CO2: in the first case, the relatively dirty coal disappears from the production process. In fact, a few days ago an analysis by the RIVM showed that CO2– capture the environmental pollution for the environment could become even greater.

Partly for this reason, the factory is now opting for the other route, even before a comparative study ordered previously has been completed. “This is the best for the environment,” CEO Hans van den Berg said in a statement. The factory has not yet announced a date, but it is expected that one of the two blast furnaces will be replaced by a natural gas installation within a few years. It is still very unclear when steel can be made with hydrogen.

Also read: Top man Tata Steel: ‘Zero emissions of harmful substances is not possible, that is a dilemma’

CO2emissions decrease less quickly

It is striking that in the new plans the CO2emissions will decrease less quickly than with the capture of CO2. According to Tata Steel, emissions will decrease by about 3.9 million tons by 2030 at the latest. With CO2capture would be about 5 million tons. In total, the factory emits about 12 million tons of CO2 annually. However, according to a spokesperson, the natural gas route offers the best balance between environment and climate gain.

The factory in IJmuiden, part of the Indian Tata Steel group, had doubts about the greening route for more than a year. Until now, the ‘natural gas route’ has been favored in particular by many politicians and the local FNV. The management saw more in CO2– capture and storage: subsidy was also available for this. This is not the case for the other route now chosen.

Tata Steel, which makes about 300 million euros a year outside corona time, now says that subsidies are also “indispensable” for the natural gas route. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency previously estimated these investments at around a billion euros. When asked, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is investigating how it can provide financial assistance to Tata Steel. To this end, it is also in discussion with Brussels about what is and is not possible in the field of state aid.

Tata takes the plunge after turbulent weeks: it will make steel based on natural gas and hydrogen
Source link Tata takes the plunge after turbulent weeks: it will make steel based on natural gas and hydrogen

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