Carbon Neutral Vision 2050
When Nippon Steel announced its Carbon Neutral Vision 2050 in March 2021, the Company positioned climate change issues as the priority management challenge for the Medium- to Long-Term Management Plan.
We have taken up the challenge to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, and are striving to reduce CO2 in our value chain by providing two types of value: by providing high-performance steel products and solutions that contribute to reducing CO2 emissions throughout society, and by providing carbon neutral steel through decarbonization of the steelmaking process.
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Providing two type of values targeted by the Carbon Neutral Vision 2050
In support of the ambitious government policy to realize a carbon neutral society in 2050, we announced the Carbon Neutral Vision 2050 as a part of the Medium- to Long-Term Management Plan in March 2021.
Decarbonization of steelmaking process for providing carbon neutral steel
We have formulated a target of reducing total CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030, compared to the 2013 baseline and of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050. We are working to develop and actually implement breakthrough technologies in steelmaking process ahead of steel companies in other countries.
Our plan is ambitious compared to those of our global peers, and is intended to significantly contribute to the Japanese government’s plan. With the assistance of the Green Innovation Fund1, we are working on specific plans of the roadmap of development and practical implementation.
1 Commissioned and grant projects of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which supports companies to carry out projects aimed at achieving ambitious targets for 2030 in focused areas of the Japanese Government’s Green Growth Strategy, such as CO2 emission reduction.
30% or more reduction in total CO2 emissions vs. 2013
Ambition to become carbon neutral
[Scope of scenario]
SCOPE 1+2 (direct emissions in our production sites + indirect emissions from purchased electricity)
4 Including Nippon Coke & Engineering Co., Ltd. and Sanso Center Co., Ltd.
Carbon neutral steel production process (conceptual)
■Three breakthrough technologies
■Three external conditions required to achieve carbon neutrality
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Roadmap to achieve the Carbon Neutral Vision
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* BF: Blast Furnace, BOF: Basic Oxygen Furnace, EAF: Electric Arc Furnace
Technological challenges and required external conditions
Production of high-grade steel in large scale EAF
- Scrap: Elimination of the effect of hazardous impurities using DRI
- EAF: Improvement of productivity with larger scale and higher efficiency
- Cost-effective fossil-free power
Hydrogen injection into BF (COURSE50, Super-COURSE50)
- Preheating and injection of high-temp hydrogen for endothermic reactions
- Stable gas flow in BF with less coke
- Scaling-up from experimental to actual super-large-scale BF
- Establishment of the technology to offset remaining CO2 emissions (CCUS)
- Implementation of CCU and CCS
- Large supply of carbon-free hydrogen
100% hydrogen use in direct reduction
- Establishment of the technology of hydrogen direct reduction
- Large-amount supply of carbon-free hydrogen
Collaboration with society, policy proposals, and industry activities to achieve carbon neutrality
Decarbonization of steelmaking is an extremely ambitious challenge. In addition to development of carbon neutral technology options, carbon-free hydrogen and electricity, the CCUS, and other factors of social infrastructure are indispensable.
The realization of carbon neutrality in the steel industry is not just a challenge for steelmakers, given that steel as the basic material underpins international competitiveness in manufacturing. It is a national challenge that the whole nation should take it up, based on the policy of aiming at achieving the industry’s international competitiveness and carbon neutrality, as well as the national strategy that provides strong, continuous fiscal and other support.
The realization of carbon neutrality in the steel industry requires huge R&D expenditures and capital expenditures for practical use. Nippon Steel alone is expected to roughly require ¥0.5 trillion in R&D expenses and ¥4–5 trillion in capital expenditures. The decarbonizing technology development for the steelmaking process is presenting an appearance of a state-to-state competition. In order to continue to lead the world and maintain and strengthen Japan’s overall industrial competitiveness, longterm, continuous government support is indispensable for “discontinuous” innovation and other R&D efforts and equipment implementation.
Europe, the United States, and China have adopted a variety of policies aimed at achieving carbon neutrality on the premise of securing international competitiveness in the steel and other basic materials industries. Japan also needs to introduce a drastic policy system based on national strategy under strong government leadership in order to achieve carbon neutrality ahead of those countries and to maintain and strengthen the international industrial competitiveness.
For realizing these policies, Nippon Steel is determined to take every opportunity to make various proposals on Japan’s climate change measures and energy policies based on the Paris Agreement, and to spearhead activities through industry organizations.
1 Minimum level estimated to be required for the time being
Policy recommendations for realizing a carbon neutral society
President Hashimoto of Nippon Steel is a member of the Strategic Policy Committee, under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and a member of the Green Transformation (GX) Implementation Council. The Executive Vice President in charge of Environment is also a member of the Central Environment Council of the Ministry of the Environment, representing Keidanren.
In meetings of these government councils and committees and Keidanren, we express and affirm our commitment and determination of the steel industry for achieving carbon neutrality. We also urge for promptly creating Japan’s policy package that combines climate change measures and measures to maintain and enhance international competitiveness of industries, led by the government. In particular, during the deliberations on the government’s Clean Energy Strategy, we argued for the need for a policy to change the energy supply structure, including the active promotion of the use of nuclear energy, and to realize carbon neutrality in the materials industry. We have thus contributed to the formulation of the policy. We have strongly advocated the needs for a clear commitment by the government to support the energy-intensive industry, an expansion of the Green Innovation Fund, strong and continuous support in all stages for the decarbonization transition from R&D to equipment implementation, support for the increasing operating costs for hydrogen, electricity, and raw materials, and a roadmap to realize the CCUS.
Moreover, we are actively developing policy proposals to achieve carbon neutrality by making use of all opportunities with the government, relevant ministries and local governments, etc. other than the above-stated councils and committees.
Efforts to address climate change through industry organizations
In February 2021, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) announced “Japan’s Basic Policy on Carbon Neutrality for 2050” in order to promote Japan’s efforts to achieve the mid-term goal of the Paris Agreement. Japan’s steel industry has also declared its commitment to boldly take up a challenge for achieving carbon neutrality. In March 2022, we set an ambitious goal of reducing CO2 emissions from energy-derived sources in fiscal 2030 by 30% compared to fiscal 2013 from an international perspective.
We are also taking a leading role for the JISF to develop climate change measures.
In addition, we participate in climate change action of the global steel industry, which is led by the World Steel Association, and is selected as the worldsteel Climate Action data provider for calculating and reporting CO2 emissions of steel mills using a common global method.