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Nippon Steel to Boost RD Spending to Hasten Decarbonisation

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Nippon Steel, the worlds No.3 steelmaker, will boost research and development RD spending to speed decarbonisation in steelmaking as it faces growing pressure to cut carbon emissions to help tackle climate change, a company executive said.

We will input considerable resource into RD on decarbonisation technology, Executive Vice President Katsuhiro Miyamoto told Reuters in an interview on Friday. Further details will be laid out in March.

Japanese steelmakers account for 14 of the nations carbon emissions and need to make cuts while remaining profitable in a market where competition mainly from China is growing.

Nippon Steel and its local peers have been working together to develop iron ore reduction technology that uses hydrogen in blast furnaces to cut CO2 emissions by 30 by 2030. Thats already a big ask for an industry that relies on carbonintense coking coal to make a metal used in everything from cars to cutlery.

But Japans pledge in October to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 has forced the industry to look for ways to accelerate its shift towards carbonfree steel.

Nippon Steel will step up development of hydrogen use in iron ore reduction, carbon capture and storage technology, and ways to make highend steel in electric furnaces, Miyamoto said.

The government, however, will need to develop a strategy to provide cheap carbonfree electricity, he said.

When blast furnaces use coke, made by coal, to eliminate oxygen contained in iron ore, carbon dioxide is…

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