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BMRA Advocates for Thriving UK Green Steel Industry Amid Export Concerns

10 Jan 2024

London- The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) recently underscored the potential for a robust UK green steel industry, emphasizing the need to balance domestic demand with global trade dynamics. As the UK steel sector eyes a transition to electric arc furnaces (EAFs) for sustainable production, the BMRA offers insights to ensure a seamless shift towards a greener steel economy.

Green Steel: A Strategic Imperative

The BMRA's stance aligns with the UK steel industry's aspirations to harness EAFs, seen as a pivotal step towards achieving net-zero emissions. Despite the shared vision, the BMRA emphasizes the need for policies that support both sectors, particularly in maximizing the use of scrap steel—a cornerstone for green steel production.

The UK currently generates approximately 10-11 million metric tons of scrap steel annually. However, a significant portion, nearly 80%, is exported, predominantly to developing nations. This export trend reflects the domestic market's limitations rather than surplus, as noted by the BMRA.

Collaboration for a Greener Future

The BMRA highlights successful collaborations, such as the RECTIFI project, where investments exceed £10 million to establish a high-grade recycled steel supply chain. Such initiatives underscore the industry's commitment to innovation and sustainable practices, vital for green steel production.

Furthermore, the BMRA urges the UK government to implement policies that incentivize the use of high-recycled content steel, bolstered by green procurement policies and tax incentives. Such measures can foster a symbiotic relationship between metal recyclers and steel producers, ensuring a steady supply of quality scrap steel for green steel production.

Balancing Domestic Demand and Global Trade

While advocating for a thriving domestic green steel industry, the BMRA cautions against restrictive export policies. With projections indicating a potential surplus of up to 3 million metric tons of ferrous scrap by 2050, export markets remain crucial for maintaining market equilibrium and supporting the viability of metal recyclers.

The association emphasizes that export dynamics are governed by international standards, ensuring environmental responsibility. Any impediments to exports could not only disrupt the UK's green steel ambitions but also jeopardize investments in EAF technology.

A Call for Strategic Alignment

In conclusion, the BMRA calls for a strategic alignment between the UK steel industry's net-zero ambitions and the realities of global trade. By fostering collaboration, innovation, and supportive policies, the UK can pave the way for a thriving green steel industry, setting a benchmark for sustainable steel production globally.

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