Kobe Steel to launch “Kobenable Steel” Japan’s first low CO₂ blast furnace steel

May 17, 2022

Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Kobe Steel announces today that it will launch “Kobenable Steel” and become Japan’s first* provider of low CO2 blast furnace steel products with significantly reduced CO2 emissions during the blast furnace ironmaking process. The Company plans to start selling the new products this fiscal year.
*According to the Company’s survey as of May 17, 2022.

Kobenable Steel is based on the KOBELCO Group's CO2 Reduction Solution for Blast Furnace Ironmaking*1) announced on February 16, 2021. It utilizes a technology that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from the blast furnace, which was demonstrated by charging into the blast furnace at the Company’s production site Kakogawa Works a large amount of HBI*2) produced by the MIDREX® Process*3) in the engineering business.

Kobe Steel plans to launch Kobenable Steel (low CO2 blast furnace steel) in two product categories as shown below.

Product categories of Kobenable Steel (low CO2 blast furnace steel)
Product name Reduction Rate of CO2 emissions per ton
compared with conventional products*4)
Kobenable Premier 100%
Kobenable Half 50%

Kobenable Steel, manufactured in the same process as the conventional blast furnace method, has the following two features.

  • Available for all types of the Company’s steel products
  • Kobenable Steel is available for all types of steel products (steel sheet, steel plate, wire rod & bar products) manufactured at Kakogawa Works and the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant.

  • Maintaining the same level of high quality as conventional products
  • Customers can continue to use blast furnace steel products that require high quality, such as special steel wire rods and ultra-high-tensile strength steel, which are the Company’s strengths.

For commercialization, reduction rates of CO2 emissions are calculated using the mass balance methodology*5) in which CO2 reduction effects are allocated to specific steel products, in accordance with ISO 20915. The calculation method and results are certified by the DNV Business Assurance services UK Ltd., a third-party certification body in the UK. At the time of the sale of the products, Kobe Steel will provide the customer with a third-party certificate issued by DNV and a low-CO2 steel product certificate issued by the Company*6).

Kobe Steel will contribute to the realization of a green society by providing Kobenable Steel low CO2 blast furnace steel as a pioneer in the steel industry.

The Kobe Steel Group (also known as the KOBELCO Group) will continue to provide solutions to the needs of society, by making the best use of the talents of its employees and technologies, in order to realize a world in which people, now and in the future, can fulfill their hopes and dreams while enjoying safe, secure and prosperous lives.

  • *1) KOBELCO Group’s CO₂ Reduction Solution(February 16, 2021)

    *2) Hot briquetted iron (HBI) is direct reduced iron (DRI) in a briquetted form. Since hot DRI is not suitable for long-distance transportation, it is pressed into a compact solid (briquette) upon being discharged from the reduction furnace

    *3) The MIDREX® Process is the leading direct reduced iron (DRI) making process, which produces approximately 80% of the world’s direct reduced iron with natural gas (approximately 60% of the world’s direct reduced iron at large). The MIDREX® Process uses natural gas as the reductant and pellets made of iron ore as the source of iron to make DRI through the reduction process in the shaft furnace. In comparison to the blast furnace method, the MIDREX® Process can reduce CO2 emissions by 20 to 40%.

    *4) Compared with the fiscal 2018 levels

    *5) The mass balance methodology is a method to allocate specific characteristics to a certain portion of products according to the input amount of raw materials with the characteristics when there is a mix of raw materials with and with no such characteristics (e.g., low CO2) in the manufacturing process. This approach has been used for products such as recycled plastics, bioplastics, electricity generated from renewable energy sources, and certified food products like cocoa and palm oil, for which separation of product properties are difficult due to the characteristics of the manufacturing process or the supply chain. In the ironmaking process, it becomes possible to reduce the amount of coke used and thereby reduce CO2 emissions by replacing a portion of iron ore with HBI, a raw material for steel that has already been reduced. Kobe steel employs the mass balance methodology to allocate the reduction effects to specific products and add environmental value to them.

    *6) The upper limit on sales volume is set by the certification body. Please ask us about the details of sales quantity.

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