Steel manufacturer JFE Steel is exploring construction of a new electric arc furnace (EAF) at its Kurashiki plant in western Japan, reported Reuters.

The EAF will replace the No.2 blast furnace at the plant to decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

JFE Steel is reviewing the feasibility of building an EAF that can reduce CO2 emission to a quarter of those of a blast furnace between 2027 and 2030 when the No2 blast furnace will need to undergo refurbishment, the company spokesperson told the news agency.

Blast furnaces undergo a refurbishment every 20 to 25 years.

This move comes as steel manufacturers around the world are facing pressure to cut down CO2 emissions.

Electric arc furnaces are less polluting than blast furnaces as more steel makers are looking at reducing CO2 emissions.

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A unit of JFE Holdings, JFE Steel owns eight blast furnaces in the country, including three at Kurashiki.

It plans to close one blast furnace in eastern Japan by March 2024.

The spokesperson was quoted by the news outlet as saying: “We plan to maintain our annual crude steel output capacity of 26 million tonnes even if we switch one of the blast furnaces with an EAF.”

The spokesperson revealed that no investment plan has been set as the firm has decided only last week to begin considering an EAF construction at Kurashiki, reported Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily.
Image: Steel manufacturers around the world are facing pressure to cut down CO2 emissions. Credit: Janno Nivergall from Pixabay.