Nucor will reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity of steel mill

by David Fleschen

Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that will lower its GHG emissions intensity of steel mills to 77% less than today's global average. While we are already among the leading steel companies in our existing carbon footprint, Nucor is committed to an additional 35% combined reduction in the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions intensity of its steel mills by 2030. This commitment will be measured against a 2015 baseline, the year the Paris Climate Agreement was adopted. At present, Nucor's GHG emissions are just 0.47 tons of CO2 per ton of steel. This compares to a global average of 1.69 and an integrated steelmaking average of 2.15. By 2030, Nucor's steel mill GHG emission intensity will be 0.38 tons of CO2 per ton of steel.

Nucor will also continue to report and reduce its Scope 3 GHG emissions associated with raw materials. Beyond 2030, Nucor is committed to further reducing its GHG emissions to a goal of net zero emission steel at scale.

"The green economy is being built on steel. As an electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker and North America's largest recycler, Nucor is already a world leader in sustainable steel. Our GHG intensity is less than one-third the world average, but we are committed to going further," said Leon Topalian, President & Chief Executive Officer of Nucor. "Steel will continue to be an essential material for our nation's economy, and Nucor is proving that it can be produced in a sustainable way to help the world meet its climate goals."

By producing 100 percent of its steel in recycled scrap-based EAFs, Nucor already produces steel with less than half the GHG emissions per ton when measured against the Paris Climate Agreement's most aggressive 2030 GHG intensity targets established by the Transition Pathways Initiative (TPI) for the steel sector. While the rest of the industry is setting targets to achieve the Below Two Degrees Scenario, Nucor is producing steel today that already exceeds those sector-based goals.

Nucor is adopting a multi-pronged approach to reducing its steel mill GHG emissions. By actively supporting the development of new renewable energy sources, Nucor is helping to accelerate the transition of the domestic power grid to a more sustainable, lower carbon future. Last year, Nucor was the 7th largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the United States. As part of this transition, Nucor will also implement new energy efficiency projects, pursue carbon capture and storage, and explore ways to further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its raw materials mix.

Nucor also continues to invest in new recycled steel facilities that are essential to building out the infrastructure needed to assure the United States' clean energy future. Nucor's plate steel mill in Brandenburg, Kentucky, will be one of only a few mills in the world capable of supporting the offshore wind market's towers and foundations. The Company also recently announced a tube mill project in Kentucky that will supply galvanized solar torque tube to the nation's expanding solar energy markets. In addition, Nucor is investing to produce 3rd Generation Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) products that will allow vehicles to meet stricter mileage standards and reduce their life cycle emissions. Until recently, AHSS products were only made by higher emissions blast furnaces. AHSS-intensive vehicles also have lower life cycle GHG emissions than aluminum-intensive vehicles for every class of vehicle tested.

"For more than 50 years, Nucor has been built on a sustainable model of recycling steel to produce new steel and steel products, and we continue to push recycled steel into products where it was never considered viable," said Topalian. "While most of the world still relies on higher-emitting technologies of the past, we are continuing to lead the way with steel as a building block for a modern, greener economy."

Source: Nucor, Photo: Fotolia

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