The report comprises five sections: Process routes and energy boundaries, Energy assessment model methodology and its benchmarking benefits, Economic aspects of energy investments, General processes and techniques, and Energy source utilisation in metallurgical plant. It also contains 20 case studies of good practices.
The report highlights that there is no single solution for steel plants to decrease their energy intensity and identifies the main factors that affect the energy intensity. It also points out that the main opportunities for energy savings in the future will come from the optimal selection of production processes and raw materials, increased use of economically available scrap, transfer of best practices, waste heat recovery and reduction of yield losses.
Some of the findings of the energy use in the steel industry project include the average energy intensity for the iron ore route and for the recycled materials route, which uses scrap via the electric arc furnace (EAF). The greenhouse gas emission intensity is directly affected by the type of energy source, raw material quality, and ferrous scrap content. The intensity levels are shown on a global basis using both the iron ore and scrap routes.
Director General Edwin Basson said: “Energy represents one of the key challenges for today’s steel industry and the efficient use of energy has always been one of the steel industry’s key priorities. Over the last 40 years, the steel industry has reduced its energy consumption per tonne of steel by 50%. Still, the cost of energy accounts for 15 to 20% of the total cost of steel production and energy consumption is directly related to the environmental impact of the industry.
Therefore, it is imperative for steel producers to take every possible opportunity to evaluate and implement practices which decrease energy intensity or utilise all the available energy sources to remain sustainable and competitive.”
The report comes with a CD which includes case studies, a list of energy saving technologies, definitions book, a list of checkpoints in the energy use methodology, a user guide for the web based energy assessment or benchmarking tool, and 1998 energy report results and analyses.