Brazilian miner Vale SA signed an agreement with French sustainable iron ore company GravitHy to seek solutions to produce carbon-neutral steel, it said on Tuesday.
The agreement will focus on studies to build a factory to produce briquettes from Vale’s high-grade iron ore through direct reduction, a steel making method.
Vale’s briquette is an iron ore agglomerate that reduces emissions in the steelmaking process in the blast furnace route and emits less CO2 when compared to pellets. The product is part of the company’s plans to achieve its commitment to reduce scope 3 net emissions by 15% by 2035.
The briquette factory would be located in Fos-sur-Mer, France, next to GravitHy’s first Direct Reduction Iron (DRI, also known as sponge iron) plant.
GravitHy’s plant is designed to produce DRI using hydrogen as a reducing fuel, substantially cutting carbon emissions in the steelmaking chain when compared to the blast furnace route, and is set to be traded globally in the form of hot-briquetted iron (HBI).
“This reinforces Vale’s confidence in the direct reduction route and the use of hydrogen to enable the decarbonization of the steel industry,” the mining company said in a statement.
Vale also aims to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
($1 = 0.9084 euros)
(By Marta Nogueira; Editing by Stephen Coates)