Emirates Steel Arkan, the UAE’s publicly traded steel and building materials company, has partnered with ITOCHU Corporation and JFE Steel Corporation, a subsidiary of JFE Holdings, to consider the construction of a ferrous raw material production facility in Abu Dhabi that would become an integral part of a global low carbon emission iron supply chain.
ESA and the two Japanese companies will work together to carry out feasibility studies on the creation of a ferrous raw material steel hub at a project site in Abu Dhabi to meet the growing demand for green steel. As part of the initial plan, high grade iron ore will be imported into Abu Dhabi for the production of the ferrous raw material, which is currently expected to begin in the second half of 2025 and will be supplied to customers primarily operating in Asia, including JFE Steel.
Ferrous raw material would initially be produced through an enhanced decarbonised process using natural gas to reduce the iron ore. The project also makes provisions for the adoption of renewable energy power sources, as well as green hydrogen for the reduction process.
Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, Group CEO of Emirates Steel Arkan, said: “We are proud to be leading efforts among steel makers in the Middle East to decarbonise amid an intensification of the global drive to curb CO2 emissions and our collaboration with ITOCHU and JFE Steel is the first of its kind in the region. If hydrogen reduction becomes an established technology in the production of steel, Emirates Steel Arkan will rapidly harness it in order to further reduce its carbon emissions. Globally some 80% of the CO2 emitted from steelmaking is the result of using coke in the blast furnace during the iron ore reduction process. The Group’s carbon footprint, however, is already significantly lower than that of its global peers thanks to its use of natural gas and advanced direct iron reduction technologies. The use of hydrogen might make our high quality and durable steel products even more environmentally friendly and support the sustainability of our customers.”
Jun Inomata, COO of Metals & Minerals Resources Division of ITOCHU Corporation, said: “We are also proud to be a part of core members to pursue achieving the goal. The goal of the Project is to create a low carbon emission iron supply chain reducing the carbon footprint and contribute to the global iron and steel industries heading to “greenalization”. In this project, ITOCHU will be responsible for sourcing the high-grade iron ore through the network built by trading and investment activities over the decades, Emirates Steel Arkan will utilize the experience of successful operation of the direct reduction plant with carbon capture, utilisation and storage “CCUS” facility, which leads the way on carbon capture and JFE Steel will use the ferrous raw material produced through this project as a steelmaking raw material and promote CO2 emission reduction.”