Global Energy Monitor
  • Caitlin Swalec and Astrid Grigsby-Schulte

Global coal-based steelmaking capacity under development increased to 380 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2022 from 350 mtpa in 2021, at a time when these coal-based blast furnace-basic oxygen furnaces must be transitioned to cleaner technologies in order to hit decarbonization targets.

Almost all of the coal-based capacity under development is in Asia (99%), with China and India holding the majority of those developments (79% together). 

While coal-based steelmaking has ceded part of its share to cleaner forms of production in recent years, the transition is moving far too slowly. 

According to the International Energy Agency’s Net-zero by 2050 scenario, the total share of ‘electric arc furnace’ capacity should reach 53% by 2050, making up at least 42% of primary production. This means 347 million metric tonnes (Mt) of coal-based capacity would need to be retired or canceled and 610 Mt of electric arc furnace capacity would need to be added to the current fleet, along with a significant build out of ‘direct reduced iron’ technology’.

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