Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has toured the Whyalla Steelworks as it marked another milestone in the journey to low carbon, green steel production.
Mr Albanese was joined by South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas to mark the closure of the coke ovens and the move towards hydrogen-Direct Reduced Iron and Electric Arc Furnace technology.
Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said the business was very proud to be working with forward-thinking Governments on its green steel transformation.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Federal and South Australian government for their support and encouragement, and we look forward with confidence to delivering our green steel vision with them as partners on this journey,” Mr Gupta said.
Mr Gupta took the opportunity to praise coke ovens’ workers after the historic final push on September 15 2023, signifying the end of producing coke from metallurgical coal on site for use in the blast furnace.
“After an incredible 55 years we must pause to recognise the vital role the coke ovens played at the steelworks and the incredible contribution of the highly skilled workers who were a part of this era,” Mr Gupta said.
“Coal based steelmaking has helped to build the modern world but it is now time to rethink and reengineer how the steel we make can continue to build our world going forward.”
“It is an incredible testament to our values that 100 percent of the coke ovens workforce have chosen to continue with the business in alternative roles and to be part of the transformation.”
Mr Gupta said Whyalla was the ideal place to usher in the next generation of green steel making technology.
“With our reserves of over 4 billion tonnes of high quality magnetite ore and South Australia’s natural blessings of wind and solar energy, there is no better place to usher in the next generation of steel making technology based on clean energy and green hydrogen.”
GFG Alliance announced in April 2023 a state-of-the-art Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) had been ordered and would replace the existing coke-fed blast furnace.
Coke will be imported for use in the blast furnace until the installation of the EAF.
- Hydrogen provides a key to a carbon-neutral iron making process and can be used in place of coking coal as a reducing agent to produce direct reduced iron – with the by-product being water.
- Our magnetite resource is of the highest quality available anywhere in Australia and through our Magnetite Expansion Project (MEP) we are in the process of significantly expanding our capacity.
- In April LIBERTY Steel announced the signing of a supply contract for a low carbon emissions electric arc furnace from leading equipment manufacturer Danieli which will initially be fed by domestic steel scrap and other Fe-bearing materials, delivering an expected 90% reduction in direct CO2 emissions compared with traditional blast furnace production.
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