Thursday, January 18, 2024

Gianpietro Benedetti, Chairman of Danieli Group, shares insights with “Metal Market Magazine”

During a 2021 interview, Gianpietro Benedetti, Chairman of Danieli Group, foresaw the challenges that unfolded in the steelmaking market during 2022-2023. His insightful predictions were not limited to market shifts, as he also delved into the nuances of technologies employed in green steel production. In discussing the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies, he demonstrated a deep awareness of the evolving landscape of sustainable steel production.

Gruppo Danieli

Danieli Group anticipates shifts in the steelmaking market

In an insightful dialogue with “Metal Market Magazine” in early December 2021, Danieli Group’s Chairman Gianpietro Benedetti not only anticipated the subsequent market downturn in 2022-2023 but also delved into pivotal topics like steelmaking trends, green steel production, and the technological landscape driving these shifts. At that juncture, the steel industry experienced profitability owing to soaring steel prices and demand. Despite this, Gianpietro Benedetti foresaw a downturn between 2022 and 2023. While the market did shift, the trends in steelmaking, particularly in the realm of green steel, continued their upward trajectory. The imperative to curtail carbon emissions, a paramount concern for Danieli Group, underscored the interview. While Europe strides ahead in curbing carbon dioxide emissions, the journey is protracted in countries like China and India, where living standards remain modest. In response, the Chairman advocated for measures such as carbon border taxes, asserting a need for “controls on imported steel”. Hydrogen emerged as a pivotal element in this transformative landscape. Danieli Group’s Chairman acknowledged its potential but highlighted challenges, noting, “if we talk more generally about carbon dioxide emissions, everyone is talking about hydrogen, but in my opinion, there is a little problem on this”. Although hydrogen can substitute natural gas in Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) production, its energy-intensive manufacturing process poses challenges. He also emphasized the necessity for innovative energy solutions to overcome this hurdle. Diversification in energy sources emerged as a crucial aspect in this unfolding narrative, reflecting the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the steel industry’s sustainable evolution.

Danieli Group: one step ahead when it comes to trends in steelmaking

Eliminating the reheating furnace stands as a potent strategy alongside hydrogen in Danieli Group’s vision to slash carbon dioxide emissions in the steel industry. Chairman Gianpietro Benedetti emphasized the belief in direct rolling as a pivotal measure. The current reliance on reheating furnaces involves substantial energy consumption to elevate semi-finished steel products to the required temperatures for rolling mills. Digitalization steps into the spotlight with Danieli Group’s innovative Digimelter, set to revolutionize Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs). The upcoming EAF for CMC (commercial metals) in the United States is designed for near-zero emissions, utilizing injected carbon for steel production. Notably, the incorporation of recycled plastics in the process has demonstrated a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions within six months. This transformative approach, coupled with the closed furnace concept, positions the Digimelter to achieve a 55% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. By synergizing various solutions encompassing hydrogen, Direct Reduced Iron (DRI), Digimelter, and direct rolling, Danieli Group envisions a remarkable 95% reduction in emissions compared to traditional integrated plants. This multifaceted strategy underlines the commitment to sustainable practices and technological innovation within the steelmaking landscape.

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