[Ferro-Alloys.com] Trade unions in the UK suggest they will not allow the end of blast furnace steel production, after the government asked Tata Steel to reduce its CO2 emissions in return for financial assistance through "project Birch".
Community Union said moving away from blast furnace production would leave the UK unable to produce "a range of specialist steels", as well as causing job losses. The government has not asked Tata to move away from blast furnace production, but transitioning to electric arc furnace (EAF) production is the most logical existing technology for reducing carbon emissions.
Historically, blast and basic oxygen furnace steelmaking has produced higher quality grades than EAF-based output. But this has changed in recent years, especially in the US where leading producer Nucor produces a variety of specialist grades for automotive and other industries. Using direct reduced iron enables an EAF to produce the same quality of steel as an integrated plant.
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