It is currently estimated that global consumption of steel will double in the next 30 – 40 years. Something has to give. No plan for net zero can be achieved without a plan for steel.
A Message From the Executive Chairman
Decarbonisation of the steel industry is both a necessity and an opportunity. This isn’t just good for the environment – it’s also good for business. Those operations which are the first to decarbonise their steelmaking will gain market share, create a competitive advantage and meet the growing demand from customers across the globe for cleaner, low emission , iron and steel. We’re here to tell you why LIBERTY Whyalla is perfectly placed to capture this opportunity.
What’s the problem?
Traditional steel production uses carbon – in the form of coal – in blast furnaces to strip the oxygen from iron oxide (iron ore) and thereby create CO2. As a result, steelmaking accounts for up to seven percent of global CO2 emissions. At the same time demand for our products will grow significantly.
What’s the solution?
Our plan is to combine hydrogen production and steelmaking technology with highly energy-efficient
electric arc furnaces. It is underpinned by raw materials and large-scale renewable energy, to help achieve our carbon neutral by 2030 (CN30) ambitions and lead the charge to GREENSTEEL. This is a huge challenge but LIBERTY Whyalla is perfectly placed to meet this target.
How can it be done?
It requires extraordinary amounts of renewable power to decarbonise iron and steel production. That renewable power needs to be affordable, abundant and readily available close to where it will be used to avoid waste. It also requires access to large quantities of high-quality iron ore, a skilled workforce, and ready-made infrastructure to connect with domestic and international supply chains.
So, in other words, to make green iron and green steel, conditions need to be just right, and today there are
very few places in the world where all those conditions are met in one place. And out of those very few places, LIBERTY Whyalla, in South Australia, comes out on top.
Whyalla’s time to shine
Whyalla has amongst the best conditions for solar and onshore wind anywhere in the world and we will harness that power to generate and store renewable energy. Our mines in Whyalla provide us with access to abundant high-quality magnetite ore an essential ingredient for green iron and steel production. Our magnetite resource is of the highest quality available anywhere in Australia and through our Magnetite Expansion Project (MEP) we are in the process of significantly expanding our capacity.
And there is more. We have a cape-size capable port, extensive rail linkages, a skilled workforce and a wholly supportive community backed up by a forward-thinking government dedicated to developing hydrogen power right here in Whyalla to help facilitate our plans. The South Australian Government is set to become a green hydrogen supplier with a commitment to a AUD$593 million hydrogen power plant in Whyalla as one of its many initiatives. This facility will include a 250MW hydrogen electrolyser and a
200MW hydrogen-fuelled power station. South Australia also aims to have 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
Through a phased transition plan across our mining, energy, iron and steel projects we are transforming LIBERTY Whyalla into a major GREENSTEEL hub. Whyalla will become one of the first global scale commercial Hydrogen Direct Reduction Iron (DRI) production facilities. To achieve this, we will build a new DRI plant and an electric arc furnace that will produce green iron and green steel at scale from our abundant magnetite resources. Alongside this, our operation will benefit from the 280MW Cultana
Solar Farm that will contribute to power operations.
By the end of the decade, we aim to use affordable, clean renewable energy to produce hydrogen from water
without CO2 emissions, and feed it directly into our DRI plant, bypassing the problems and expense of hydrogen storage and transportation. Why export hydrogen when you can use it right here in-situ to produce hydrogen-based green iron and GREENSTEEL for export?
A global solution
Our expansion offers us the chance to not only increase our exports of high quality, low carbon magnetite to our steelworks in Europe and Asia, it also gives us the ability to develop new partnerships in the export of hydrogen produced.
And we’re not just investing here in Australia. At our steelworks in the Czech Republic and Romania, we are replacing older polluting production methods with highly energy efficient scrap fed electric arc furnaces that can also be fed with the green iron produced in Whyalla, giving us a ready-made value chain. The new furnaces, the first of their kind in Europe, will have a combined capacity of 7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and will reduce the overall CO2 emissions of the steelworks by more than 80 percent by 2027.
The size of the prize
The size of the prize is massive. With renewable energy and hydrogen production established, the potential benefits go well beyond steel and could position South Australia as a global hub for other hydrogen enabled technologies and advanced manufacturing. Australia can play a major role in the new industrial age and make a massive and positive contribution to reducing emissions and solving climate change.
The radical changes that we are delivering in Whyalla and elsewhere cannot be achieved by one organisation on its own. Private sector collaborations are required to spread costs, share knowledge and accelerate change. To reinvent the industry, steel producers, policymakers and the financial community need to work together to deliver real sustainable change.
As such, LIBERTY is pleased to present Leading the Charge: A Vision for Whyalla GREENSTEEL.
The Vision outlines our developments and partner opportunities to secure a clean, modern and prosperous
industry for ourselves and future generations.
Founder & Executive Chairman