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Kobe Steel to launch “Kobenable Steel”, Japan’s first low-CO2 blast furnace steel

Kobe Steel will launch “Kobenable Steel” and become Japan’s first provider of low-CO2 blast furnace steel products with significantly reduced CO2 emissions during the blast furnace ironmaking process. The company plans to start selling the new products this fiscal year.

Kobenable Steel is based on the KOBELCO Group’s CO2 Reduction Solution for Blast Furnace Ironmaking announced in February 2021. It utilizes a technology that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from the blast furnace, which was demonstrated at the company’s Kakogawa Works by charging the blast furnace with a large amount of hot briquetted iron (HBI) produced by the MIDREX Process. (Earlier post.)

The MIDREX process is the leading direct reduced iron (DRI) making process, which produces approximately 80% of the world’s direct reduced iron with natural gas (approximately 60% of the world’s direct reduced iron at large). The MIDREX Process uses natural gas as the reductant and pellets made of iron ore as the source of iron to make DRI through the reduction process in the shaft furnace. In comparison to the blast furnace method, the MIDREX Process can reduce CO2 emissions by 20 to 40%.

Kobe Steel plans to launch Kobenable Steel in two product categories:

  • Kobenable Premier: 100% reduction rate of CO2 emissions per ton

  • Kobenable Half: 50% reduction rate of CO2 emissions per ton

Kobenable Steel is available for all types of the company’s steel products (steel sheet, steel plate, wire rod & bar products) manufactured at Kakogawa Works and the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant.

Kobenable Steel maintains the same level of high quality as conventional products. Customers can continue to use blast furnace steel products that require high quality, such as special steel wire rods and ultra-high-tensile strength steel, which are the company’s strengths.

For commercialization, reduction rates of CO2 emissions are calculated using the mass balance methodology in which CO2 reduction effects are allocated to specific steel products, in accordance with ISO 20915.

The calculation method and results are certified by the DNV Business Assurance services UK Ltd., a third-party certification body in the UK. At the time of the sale of the products, Kobe Steel will provide the customer with a third-party certificate issued by DNV and a low-CO2 steel product certificate issued by the company.


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