What has happened?
- Tata Steel has threatened to shut its UK operations unless the British government extends aid around £1.5 billion (about ₹14,400 crore),
- Within the next one year to help the owner of the UK’s largest steelworks reduce its carbon emissions, the Financial Times (FT) reported.
- “A transition to a greener steel plant is the intention that we have… But this is only possible with financial help from the government,“N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, told FT.
- “We have been in discussions over the last two years and we should come to an agreement within 12 months. Without this, we will have to look at closures of sites,” he said.
What Tata steel needs to do?
- As part of its decarbonisation effort, Tata Steel would close its two blast furnaces at the Port Talbot plant,
- Stop primary steelmaking and instead build two electric arc furnaces, people familiar with the details told FT.
- The Port Talbot plant has a capacity to produce 5 million tonnes of steel a year.
- Tata Steel owns the UK’s largest steelworks at Port Talbot in South Wales and employs around 8,000 people across all its operations in the country.
What is blast furnaces?
- Blast furnaces are used to produce iron from ore, which is then further used for steel making.
- They use coal to achieve the high temperatures required for the reaction and are carbon intensive.
- Electric arc furnaces on the other hand are used to recycle scrap steel and depending on the source of the electricity used, have significantly lower carbon emission.
- Even in India, a bulk of steel production happens through the blast furnace route.
- Tata Steel recently commissioned the first plant in India that captures carbon dioxide from blast furnace emissions at its Jamshedpur site.
So what’s the problem?
- However, Tata Steel’s decarbonisation plan will cost £3 billion,
- Out of which it is seeking £1.5 billion aid from the British government, as per the FT report.
But why Tata has to do this?
- The island nation has pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- To meet its target, the country must move to more sustainable steel manufacturing.
- Around 80% of the steel produced in the UK is made in blast furnaces at two sites –Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in Wales and a British Steel plant at Scunthorpe.
Tata steel target
- The Indian steel giant is one of Europe’s leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the Netherlands and the UK, and manufacturing plants across Europe.
- The company’s tube products are used across a broad range of industries, including construction, machinery fabrication, energy and automotive.
- Last month, Tata Steel said it has an ambition to produce net-zero steel by 2050 at the latest and to have reduced 30% of CO2 emissions by 2030.
Q) Which among the following statement is correct regarding Pig Iron?
- It has a very high carbon content
- It has a very low carbon content
- It is the purest form of Iron
- It is an alloy of Iron and chromium