Opportunity and Challenges for Australian Green Steel

August 25th, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Industrial heat processes, Techno-economic evaluation

Lead Organisation:
Geoscience Australia

Monash University


Start date:
July 2022

Completion date:
June 2024

Key contacts:
Lead Investigator: Dr Marcus Haynes: marcus.haynes@ga.gov.au

The project is funded under the Exploring for the Future Program.

Project total cost:
Not applicable

Project summary description:
Technology-driven decarbonisation of heavy industry (i.e., steel production) can help maximise export opportunities beyond iron ore and can build resilience in Australia’s major international supply chains. Advances in “green” steel production can also support establishing a commercial hydrogen industry.

The hydrogen-based direct reduced iron (DRI) process is considered to be one of the two most critical technologies to achieve decarbonisation for the global steel sector; and one of the crucial growth pathways for the international hydrogen industry. The “Opportunity and Challenges for Australian Green Steel” project under Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future program has the following objectives:

  1. Deliver an assessment of the green steel production potential in Australia through the integration of:
    • A geological understanding of Australia’s iron ore resources and mineralogy;
    • A geospatial understanding of Australian infrastructure and energy potential; and
    • Resource development economics and engineering.
  2. Identify the main opportunities, barriers and value-chain potential for Australia from steel industry decarbonisation, including Australia’s distinct advantages.
  3. Facilitate access to economic tools and models for industry, government and the general public to assess domestic green steel production potential.
  4. Identify how far down the value chain Australia should go and what technologies and price points are required to enable Australia to be cost-competitive in the green steel industry.
  5. Inform the development of planning, regulations and policy to de-risk steel industry development in Australia.

Related publications and key links:
Wang, C., Walsh, S.D.C., Haynes, M., Weng, Z., Feitz, A., Summerfield, D. and Lutalo, I. 2022. From Australian iron ore to green steel: the opportunity for technology-driven decarbonisation. Geoscience Australia, Canberra. https://dx.doi.org/10.26186/147005

Wang, C., Walsh, S. D., Weng, Z., Haynes, M. W., Summerfield, D., and Feitz, A. 2023. Green steel: Synergies between the Australian iron ore industry and the production of green hydrogen. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2023.05.041

Wang, C., Feitz, A., Haynes, M., Walsh, S. and Weng, Z. 2023. Picture this: green hydrogen plants next to green steelworks to boost efficiency and kickstart both industries. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/picture-this-green-hydrogen-plants-next-to-green-steelworks-to-boost-efficiency-and-kickstart-both-industries-205845

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


August 2023