• Chinese steelmakers turning to scrap to reduce emissions and make money

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Reuters has reported on the trend for Chinese steelmakers to install scrap metal processing facilities into their wider plants as an effect of clean air policies and the current steel market. Steel and other metal prices rose last year, leaving steelmakers with extra profit and more potential for reinvestment in their own businesses. As scrap metal can be made into steel using electric arc furnaces, which emit less pollution at the plant itself than sintering plants and blast furnaces, which burn coal, and government regulations are becoming increasing strict on air pollution, there was a push factor for converting to scrap as an input. A pull factor has also been at play – steelmakers, instead of buying scrap from scrap metal processors, could at current prices pay back the cost of buying their own scrap processing machinery in less than a year, making the investment decision a fairly easy one. The trend is likely to be bad news for multinational mining companies such as Vale and Rio Tinto, who have been counting on selling greater amounts of iron ore to China.