How can WA support the ambitions of the global green steel industry?
Green Steel – the question is not ‘is it possible’, but rather ‘how to make it possible’.
This MRIWA Focus Area aims to map the pathway to enable Western Australia to maximise use of its magnetite and hematite iron ore resources and emerging hydrogen and renewable energy potential to support the global green steel ambitions, creating new markets and industries for this state.
With the steel industry causing 7% of global CO2 emissions, there is a significant focus on the development of green steel to reduce this.
Western Australia has significant under-utilised magnetite resources and a potential green hydrogen production capacity which would enable the state to participate in the emerging green steel industry.
There are multiple scenarios along a continuum through which Western Australia could do this, including:
- Continuing to export iron ore; creating green hydrogen and exporting overseas for steel making;
- Producing direct-reduced iron locally, initially using gas-based direct reduction then subsequently through hydrogen direct reduction, and exporting overseas to be refined to steel;
- Producing steel locally, exporting semi-finished products for overseas fabrication.
These scenarios are not mutually exclusive and establish a development pathway for Western Australia.
The lead time for Western Australia to capture this emerging opportunity means there is a need to start now to enable the state to have a comprehensive understanding of the ore characterisation, policy and incentive frameworks, land availability and capabilities needed.
Green Steel Assessment
Work is being finalised on the viability of sustainably processing Western Australian iron ore to green steel, or the inputs necessary to create green steel.
The iron ore-to-steel value chain has been mapped in detail and identified opportunities and barriers for WA to support the global steel industry’s green ambitions.
The assessment has examined regional infrastructure needs, market dynamics and policies needed to ensure the State has a comprehensive understanding on creating green steel.
The full scope of work is available here:
Five pathways to green steel were modelled and analysed. These pathways include:
- Green Iron Ore,
- Green Pellets,
- HBI using Natural gas and green pellets,
- Green HBI and
- Green Steel.
An economic impact assessment was completed considering firstly Green Iron produced in the Pilbara and secondly Green Steel produced in the Pilbara.
Conclusions and recommendations for future action currently being considered.
Page was last reviewed 12 January 2023