CO2 & Energy
As a sector with a high level of energy consumption, steel companies like Aperam must take specific steps to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve energy savings.
Whereas the standard steel-making process demands that carbon add-ins be made during the melting process, Aperam is anything but standard. Our BioEnergia eucalyptus forest in Brazil allows us to reduce our emissions by using carbonised trees, or charcoal, instead of coke. In 2017, our CO2 footprint stood at 1,111 kilo-tonnes – representing a 34.5% decrease since 2008 and in line with our 2020 objective. Being 50% lower than the latest ISSF standards, it is no stretch to say that Aperam produces the ‘world’s greenest stainless steel’.
As to energy savings, Aperam is continually working to become more efficient. As of 2017, 32% of our energy mix came from such renewable sources as charcoal biomass, which helped us significantly decrease consumption in terms of absolute value (-3.9%), as well as in energy intensity (-3.0% over 2016).
These achievements are, in large part, the result of the various efforts happening across the Aperam Group. For example, knowing that unplanned stoppages create heat losses, which in turn demand warm-up energy during restart and result in a much higher consumption than necessary in a normal run, in 2017 we worked to increase the reliability of our machines. As a result, we saved some 28 MWh.
>> In 2016, our Genk site started replacing old lamps with LED bulbs – a simple action that resulted in a big savings of 182 MWh. Today, this effort is being rolled out at the corporate level as part of Aperam’s comprehensive Energy Efficiency project. The project aims to speed up the implementation of LEDs and ensure the entire Group reaps the benefits of improved energy use, safety and costs savings.
To further reduce energy use , we also replaced key equipment with more energy-efficient models. For example, our Châtelet site recently received two new 12 MW Alternative Current Motors. These motors provide a 50% increase in nominal power over the older models – not to mention lower consumption and maintenance costs.
> In 2017, BioEnergia in Brazil invested in a second gas burner. The burner consists of a complex incineration system designated to burn gases with a capacity of 11,700 Nm³ of gas per hour and withholding temperatures of up to 1200 ºC. With the new burner, 55 carbonisation kilns are now neutralised, in addition to the 42 that were neutralised at the Lagoa Unit in 2016. Not only has this reduced actual CO2 emissions from the charcoal production, there is also a potential economic gain when we start using the heat from the burning gas to dry the wood and to generate electricity - which will start in 2018.