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Emirates Steel Arkan eyes Abu Dhabi hub for 'green iron' supply chain

ABU DHABI, September 26, 2022

Emirates Steel Arkan, the UAE's largest publicly-traded steel and building materials company, said it is in talks with Japanese groups - Itochu and JFE Steel - for the construction of a ferrous raw material production facility in Abu Dhabi that would become an integral part of a global low carbon emission iron supply chain.
 
Ferrous raw material would initially be produced through an enhanced decarbonised process using natural gas to reduce the iron ore. 
 
The project also makes provisions for the adoption of renewable energy power sources, as well as green hydrogen for the reduction process.
 
Emirates Steel Arkan said it will work together with the Japanese duo to conduct feasibility studies on creating a ferrous raw material steel hub at a project site in Abu Dhabi to meet the growing demand for green steel.
 
As part of the initial plan, high-grade iron ore will be imported into Abu Dhabi to produce the ferrous raw material, which is currently expected to begin in the second half of 2025 and will be supplied to customers primarily operating in Asia, including JFE Steel, it added.
 
Group CEO Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi said: "We are proud to be leading efforts among steel makers in the Middle East to decarbonise amid an intensification of the global drive to curb CO2 emissions and our collaboration with Itochu and JFE Steel is the first of its kind in the region."
 
"If hydrogen reduction becomes an established technology in the production of steel, Emirates Steel Arkan will rapidly harness it to further reduce its carbon emissions," he stated.
 
According to him, globally some 80% of the CO2 emitted from steelmaking is the result of using coke in the blast furnace during the iron ore reduction process. 
 
"The group's carbon footprint, however, is already significantly lower than that of its global peers, thanks to its use of natural gas and advanced direct iron reduction technologies. The use of hydrogen might make our high quality and durable steel products even more environmentally friendly and support the sustainability of our customers," he added.
 
Jun Inomata, COO of Metals & Minerals Resources Division of Itochu Corporation, said, "We are also proud to be a part of core members to pursue achieving the goal. The goal of the Project is to create a low carbon emission iron supply chain reducing the carbon footprint and contributing to the global iron and steel industries heading to 'greenalisation'."
 
"In this project, Itochu will be responsible for sourcing the high-grade iron ore through the network built by trading and investment activities over the decades, Emirates Steel Arkan will utilise the experience of successful operation of the direct reduction plant with carbon capture, utilisation and storage 'CCUS' facility, which leads the way on carbon capture and JFE Steel will use the ferrous raw material produced through this project as a steelmaking raw material and promote CO2 emission reduction," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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