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Material Balance

The Kobe Steel Group undertakes environmentally conscious management throughout every aspect of its operations.

As part of this approach, the Group continuously strives for greater energy efficiency, effective use of byproduct gases, waste heat, water and other resources, and the recycling of byproducts.

Resource and Energy Usage at Kobe Steel

Iron & Steel Business

At Kobe Steel, 95 percent of the energy usage is in the Iron & Steel Business. In fiscal 2014, this business unit used 11.64 million tons of iron ore, 6.18 million tons of coking coal and coke, 9PJ* of fuels such as coal, oil and municipal gas, and 830,000 MWh of purchased power. Nearly all of the byproduct gases -- including coke oven gas, blast furnace gas and converter gas – derived from production processes are effectively reused as fuel for reheating steel or for use in in-house power plants. Kobe Steel also proactively implements power generation that utilizes waste heat. Combined with the power generated from byproduct gases, over 60 percent of the power required by production processes is generated through energy recovery.

Insofar as possible, byproducts produced during production processes, such as steel slag**, dust and sludge, are also turned to effective use as raw materials in applications such as cement and roadbeds. Together with in-company re-use, 98 percent of the byproducts are recycled in this manner.

In the future, Kobe Steel will continue to pursue environmentally friendly practices throughout all aspects of its operations, striving for more efficient use of resources and energy and advancing the development of new technologies to that end.

*1PJ=1015J
**Slag is recovered from molten pig iron during refining. (It is also called blast furnace slag, steelmaking slag, etc.).

Resource and Energy Usage in the Iron & Steel Business (Fiscal 2014)

Resource and Energy Usage in the Iron & Steel Business (Fiscal 2013)

*Recycling ratio indicates the ratio of waste produced that is not consigned to landfills.

Welding Business

Using metal wire rods, hoops, fluxes, soluble glass and other raw materials, the Welding Business produces welding electrodes and welding wires. In fiscal 2014 the Fujisawa, Ibaraki, Saijo and Fukuchiyama plants used a combined 180,000 tons of raw materials, 65,000 MWh of electricity, and 0.2PJ of city gas and other fuels to manufacture 170,000 tons worth of products. This generated 18,000 tons of byproducts, of which 98 percent was successfully recycled.

Resource and Energy Usage in the Welding Business (Fiscal 2014)

Input   Output
Raw materials   Products
Wire rods, hoops, fluxes, soluble glass, etc. 180,000 t   Welding rods, welding wires, etc. 170,000 t
Energy   Byproducts
Purchased power 65,000 MWh   Amount produced 18,000 t
City gas, etc. 0.2PJ   Recycling ratio 98 percent

Aluminum & Copper Business

Using ingots and scrap as raw materials, the Aluminum & Copper Business produces a variety of aluminum and copper products. In fiscal 2014 the business unit used 430,000 tons of raw materials, 490,000 MWh of electricity, and 3.5PJ of city gas and other fuels to create 390,000 tons of products.

During melting and casting, 28,000 tons of byproducts, such as slag, dust and wastewater sludge, were produced. However, 97 percent of these byproducts were successfully recycled.

Resource and Energy Usage in the Aluminum & Copper Business (Fiscal 2014)

Input   Output
Raw materials   Products
Aluminum ingots, copper ingots, etc. 430,000 t   Aluminum and copper products 390,000 t
Energy   Byproducts
Purchased power 490,000 MWh   Amount produced 28,000 t
City gas, etc. 3.5PJ   Recycling ratio 97 percent