Alternative to the CO2 Carbon Tax for the Steel Industry

Posted on : July 18, 2011

The current development of furnaces for steel manufacturing is changing – but not in Australia. BlueScope and One Steel cannot compete with the giants in Asia, USA, India and Europe.

The answer is a non coal fired furnace – called an Electric Arc Furnace – the images below are copied from mainly sites in China and India. The use electricity to produce molten iron used every day in the steel industry.

 

Electric Arc Furnace

Electric Arc Furnace Diagram

Electric Arc Furnace 2

Electric Arc Furnace 3

As you can see this is not dissimilar to providing the required temperatures to liquefy Iron Ore Oxide to Iron (steel) plus lots of other very technical processes. But the great thing about this it reduces the CO2 emissions by 50% plus (to be confirmed) but the source of power is excluded in this exercise. All of Chinese, Indian, American and European Steel producers are going down this avenue. It will become the dominating source of steel while the CO2 emissions are a problem to the globe. Why is Australia not looking at this technology – because coal is cheaper than the extremely high power charges already being charged? With the introduction of the Carbon Tax on Power Stations and Steel Manufacture – this technology will not be available to Australia and we will become the third world manufacturers (polluters of CO2) and eventually shut majority of these manufacturing companies down.

WHY? Because power is already expensive and will become more so with the CO2 Tax Introduction. How does Australia make power? The majority is coal and the government will make a fortune in revenue from this CO2 Tax along all supply lines. Why would they invest in alternate sources of power that do not produce any CO2? Because there isn’t a tax on it yet! What is this magical power supply that doesn’t emit any CO2?

 

Nuclear Power Stations

The below is a photo of a power station in Europe (includes Russia) that are simply producing large amounts of energy without the CO2 poisoning of the atmosphere.

Nuclear power plant

How do these magic power stations work – people in Australia haven’t seen one here because they are banned and will be for a long time with the sentiment that has been placed in this country since the early 1970’s. Nuclear Energy is very different from Nuclear Bombs! Have a look at the world today that uses nuclear power.

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear power plant usage

 

The grey areas (that include Australia) have no reactors – WHY? Because of the fear that we will all die if something goes wrong. Nearly 40% of the world’s landmass population has access to nuclear power! We don’t and will not until there is a big shift in the acceptance by the Australian public of this power source.  If education is the key – then lobby groups from manufacturing industries will have to provide the input to start this process.

 

Australia Needs Affordable Power to Sustain its Economic Viability in Steel Manufacturing.

How can BlueScope and One Steel change (or even afford to research and develop) to this new technology? The simple answer is they will not. The CO2 Tax has just wiped it off the R&D board’s agenda at the annual production sustainability meeting. Australia cannot supply power for this process without utilising coal or gas. Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Wave and other renewable power supplies don’t compete with the economical supply of base load power that exists in Nuclear Power Supply.

Australia says on one hand – don’t use Nuclear power – but then says you pollute too much CO2 into the atmosphere – what are the steel companies going to do? Unlike TATA and other world steel giants they can’t use nuclear power from companies in China like the CHINA GUANGDONG NUCLEAR POWER COMPANY which supplies fuel (uranium fuel cells) to all of Chinas nuclear Power Stations. Where does the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company get its Uranium Ore from? ANSWER is Australia. Aren’t we very clever? Sell it but don’t use it! The next good part of the story is that Energy Metals a 60.6% Chinese / Australian company was just granted a licence to export uranium from the Northern Territory to China for the next ten years.

 

WHY?

The questions raised are:

  • We can sell uranium for nuclear power but not to Australian companies for power production in Australia.
  • Over 50% ownership (by other countries) of uranium mines is allowed in Australia and they can sell it to whoever they want.
  • Nuclear power is very bad in Australia – but so is coal – we have to use wind, solar etc.
  • Cheap power, no CO2 polluting power (nuclear) and cheap, CO2 polluting power (coal) is not an option in Australia because one is banned and the other is taxed till it is no longer affordable.
  • How will the big manufacturers in steel, cement aluminium etc afford to develop new technology or even adapt to new technology if this CO2 tax is introduced.
  • Will everyone accept cheaper imports of overseas manufactured steel product to utilise in building etc?

How many manufacturing groups, associations, industry groups, federations, lobby groups etc are actually interested in saving this steel industry? I will be publishing a list of each group involved directly or indirectly of their involvement to date and also their intended involvement including “no comment” over the next few weeks.

This industry employs (directly & indirectly) the vast majority of Australian workers and this Tax and also the Ban on Nuclear Power will leave us behind.

I will leave you with two images – pick which ones are Australia and which one is China?

Australia

 

 

China

 

Where do we want to be in 100 years? 500 years? China is planning for the end of 3000 not 2012 like Australia.

Here’s the roofing perspective of all this – maybe pictures are easier to see the comparison?

The big question is which one is Australia and which one is China? A or B?

Picture A

Picture B

 

Email your answer to shed@shedeye.com.au and also if you require further technical data regarding this report or an RSS feed setup to your email address?

All industry Associations, Federations, Lobby Groups, Institutes or other interested parties please leave contact details at the above address.

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One Response to “Alternative to the CO2 Carbon Tax for the Steel Industry”

  1. Slim said...

    Good article by Ziggy Switkowski in the DRUM http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2797922.html
    in which he backs up nuclear as the only choice
    in future power if the CO2 tax continues. The steel
    industry is very important to Australia.

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