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Steel industry can increase scrap use ‘considerably’

Global – The electric arc furnace share of total global steel production and the share of ferrous scrap in total metallic demand have been declining of late. However, global scrap availability is expected to grow strongly such that the steel industry ‘can increase its use of ferrous scrap considerably in the medium and long term’, the World Steel Association’s head of raw materials Dr Baris Çiftçi told a recent conference.

Global ferrous scrap availability is forecast to increase to 1 billion tonnes in 2030 and 1.3 billion tonnes in 2050 from around 720 million tonnes in 2016, Çiftçi told a steel industry and sector relations conference in Istanbul in a presentation entitled ‘Potential game-changers for the future of steelmaking’. Scrap availability will ‘surge’ in the developing world, mainly in the form of obsolete scrap, he added.

‘The steel industry has already improved its environmental footprint considerably in the past 50 years,’ says Çiftçi. ‘For example, worldsteel data show that, from 1960 to 2015, the global steel industry decreased its energy intensity – that is, energy consumption per tonne of crude steel produced – by around 60%.’ But as an energy-intensive industry, he acknowledges, ‘the steel industry is challenged to do more’.

Electric arc furnaces account for some 25% of total global crude steel production, according to Çiftçi.

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