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InfraBuild: Carbon neutral by 2030

9 February 2020

Key Points

  • InfraBuild intends to be an agent of change with its aim to become carbon neutral by 2030
  • Steel manufactured as part of InfraBuild’s GREENSTEEL strategy has the potential to contribute to the green credentials of Australia’s major projects
  • The Energy Transitions Commission has recognised InfraBuild as among a group of companies setting the agenda for the construction sector
InfraBuild is to become carbon neutral by 2030 – that’s the commitment of Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman of the GFG Alliance, who has announced an ambitious plan for the company to become a world leader in sustainable industry.

Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman of GFG Alliance and its Australian integrated steel manufacturing, processing, distribution and recycling business InfraBuild, has outlined his bold plan for the GFG Alliance to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Mr Gupta revealed that GFG’s steel-making businesses, including InfraBuild, will aim to become carbon neutral by 2030 as part of GFG’s far-reaching CN30 initiative. He made the announcement at the World Steel Dynamics European Conference in Milan, Italy, in October 2019 and reaffirmed the company’s commitment in presentations to industry and political leaders at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland in January 2020.

GFG’s CN30 initiative aims to fast-track carbon neutral steel and aluminium production  20 years earlier than the rest of industry. In doing so, the company believes it can act as an agent of change.

“Becoming carbon neutral is actually the biggest challenge for the steel industry,” Mr Gupta said at Davos. “The prize is a sustainable planet for future generations to come.”

InfraBuild’s role in a carbon neutral future 

InfraBuild CEO Daksesh Patel told last year’s World Engineering Convention (WEC19) InfraBuild must take the initiative to deliver sustainable outcomes. In delivering his keynote address, Mr Patel said: “The reality is that we must continue to innovate and lead the way to deliver a more sustainable built environment – not just because of regulation, but because it is the right thing to do for our communities, for business and for the future of the planet,” Mr Patel said, during his keynote address at the World Engineering Convention (WEC19) in Melbourne, last year.

“Ensuring that we have sustainable products, sustainable supply chains and sustainability at the engineering core of construction will be critical to ensuring the delivery of a sustainable built environment for our future,” he said.

“I challenge all of us to do better, to invest, to collaborate, to innovate and to lead the way on sustainability, not because it is mandated, but because we are finding better ways to do things. Together, we will build a sustainable future.”

Daksesh Patel, CEO InfraBuild, speaking at WEC19

Central to InfraBuild’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2030 is its GREENSTEEL strategy. GREENSTEEL is the manufacturing of new steel from recycled scrap steel in sustainably powered Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs). Steel made from recycled scrap using fossil fuel-based energy generates less than a third of the CO2 emissions created through primary steel making, with the benefit dramatically increasing to almost zero emissions with the use of renewable power in GREENSTEEL. 

Steel made from recycled materials is made to the same demanding quality specifications as steel from raw materials and has the potential to contribute to the green credentials of Australia’s major projects – both in terms of percentage of recycled products and reduced embodied carbon. 

Sustainability initiatives already underway 

In Australia, InfraBuild Recycling collects, handles and processes more than 1.4 million tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal every year, distributing it to InfraBuild Steel’s Australian steel mills and international customers for the manufacture of new steel in EAFs.

InfraBuild Steel uses recycled tyres in its EAF steel-making process, reducing the amount of injected carbon required by up to 20 per cent, improving electrical efficiency by up to 3 per cent and removing millions of used car tyres from landfill. Known as Polymer Injection Technology (PIT), this process was developed by InfraBuild Steel in collaboration with the University of New South Wales.

“Becoming carbon neutral is actually the biggest challenge for the steel industry.”

Sanjeev Gupta, GFG Alliance Chairman, speaking at the World Economic Forum 2020

As part of its GREENSTEEL strategy, InfraBuild will power its operations through renewable energy sourced through sister company SIMEC Energy Australia, including its Cultana Solar farm and Playford Battery projects. 

With its facilities strategically placed close to key markets, major projects and end customers around Australia, InfraBuild businesses are able to reduce transport emissions, cut electricity use and minimise waste. This national footprint also ensures that InfraBuild brings teams with local knowledge and expertise to local projects, supporting local engineering, fabrication and construction businesses. 

Most recently, InfraBuild announced the development of a patented high-strength reinforcing steel called ViribarTM750 that reduces both the mass and embodied energy of steel fitments by 33 per cent, while still providing the same strength capacity of standard-grade fitments. 

It’s an exciting breakthrough in steel manufacture that will play an important part in InfraBuild’s efforts to become fully carbon neutral by the end of this decade.

Committing to a zero-carbon steel future

According to Faustine Delasalle, Director of the Energy Transitions Commission, a diverse coalition of global leaders from across the energy landscape (energy companies, energy-intensive industries, equipment providers, investors, environmental NGOs), companies like InfraBuild, a company of Liberty, are setting the agenda for the rest of the sector.

“The Energy Transitions Commission’s Mission Possible report demonstrated that steel production can be fully decarbonised by growing scrap-based production and decarbonising ore-based production through various technologies – including the use of hydrogen, produced from zero-carbon electricity, as the reduction agent, but also electrolysis or use of carbon capture.

“I am delighted to see pioneering companies like Liberty Group turn that vision into practice and send a clear message to the market that green steel will be available at commercial scale and sooner than one might think. We now need policy makers to step up to support steel producers who have committed to bold climate targets.”

Faustine Delasalle, Director of the Energy Transitions Commission

“We also need major steel buyers to commit to the use of zero-carbon steel to send a signal to producers: there is a demand for zero-carbon steel products,” Delasalle said. 

Read more at CN30 from Sanjeev Gupta

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