Vale and Japan Nippon Steel have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pursue ironmaking solutions focused on a carbon-neutral steelmaking process, the iron ore miner says.
Vale and Nippon Steel intend to jointly study and explore (i) metallic usage solutions such as direct reduced iron (DRI) and pig iron produced by Tecnored technology; and (ii) usage of Vale’s green briquettes in the ironmaking process and other lower carbon footprint products such as pellets.
This initiative contributes to Vale commitment to reduce net Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035. Additionally, Vale seeks to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement, leading the evolution process towards sustainable mining.
In April, Vale and the Government of the State of Pará held an event to mark the beginning of the construction works of the first commercial plant of Tecnored in Brazil. Tecnored technology allows the production of so-called ‘green pig iron’, by replacing metallurgical coal with biomass, thus reducing carbon emissions and contributing to the decarbonisation of the steel industry.
The unit will have an initial capacity to produce 250,000 t/y of green pig iron, with the possibility of reaching 500,000 t/y in the future. The start-up is scheduled for 2025 with an estimated investment of approximately BRL1.6 billion ($342 million).