Japan trading house, British oil major sign MOU with Brazilian steelmaker CSN
Nikkei staff writers
TOKYO — Japanese trading house Itochu and Shell are taking a chance at decarbonizing iron mines and steel mills in Brazil, a rare attempt to reduce carbon emissions in the upstream sector that could help green the carbon-heavy steel sector.
The project aims to put carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies as well as electric vehicle recharging systems to practical use. Reducing CO2 emissions in the upstream sector would contribute to decarbonizing the industry, which currently accounts for about 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
Along with Brazilian steel giant CSN the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to study the introduction of decarbonization technologies at Brazil’s Casa de Pedra Mine, which is being jointly developed by Itochu and CSN. The partners will formulate a concrete plan by the end of this year.
Part of the collaboration will involve fueling heavy equipment such as mining trucks with plant-based biofuels produced by Shell. The partners will also work to electrify heavy machinery.
In addition, CSN will consider installing CCUS technologies at its steel mills. There is also a possibility of developing a carbon credit system that would use credits held by Shell and Itochu.
The Casa de Pedra Mine already generates all of its electricity from renewable energy sources, mainly hydroelectric power. CSN will also introduce solar power and other energy sources to its steelmaking plant and cement factory. Specific investment and CO2 reduction targets will be worked out in the future.
Itochu will oversee the entire project and introduce companies in which it has invested, such as Australia’s Mineral Carbonation International, which has CO2 fixation technology. In addition to mines and steel mills, CSN operates cement and power plant businesses. Itochu and Shell intend to expand their collaboration to these businesses as well.