Port Kembla Steelworks Renewables and Emissions Reduction Study

June 7th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Industrial heat processes

Lead Organisation:
Bluescope Steel

The University Of Wollongong, Future Fuels CRC


Start date:
March 2022

Completion date:
May 2023

Key contacts:
Bluescope Steel: steeldirect@bluescopesteel.com

AUD$925,000 – ARENA

Project total cost:
AUD$1,860,000 – combined cash and in-kind contributions

Project summary description:
The purpose of this project is to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of renewable energy and decarbonisation technology pathways that have the potential to decarbonise Bluescope’s steelmaking process at its Port Kembla steel works in New South Wales.

The project will examine two technological pathways:

  1. Smart Carbon Usage: substituting fossil fuels with renewable carbon-based materials and converting plant-generated gases into manufacturing chemicals, including:
    • renewable biochar to partially replace pulverised coal injected into the blast furnace, coal derived fuels in iron ore sintering and or metallurgical coal in cokemaking
    • using plant-generated gases to reduce emissions
    • processing blast furnace top gas to produce a hydrogen-rich stream
    • a smelting-reduction process using fine iron ore, fine coal and pure oxygen (potentially replacing cokemaking and iron ore sintering) to produce iron and concentrated carbon dioxide gas for carbon capture and storage, thereby replacing current cokemaking, iron ore sintering and blast furnace process units.
  2. Direct Carbon Avoidance: using hydrogen derived from renewable energy in steelmaking processes, including co-injection of renewable hydrogen into the blast furnace for partial replacement of coal. In the longer term, transition steelmaking capacity from carbon-based blast furnace processes to full hydrogen-based Direct Reduced Iron / Melter and other emerging technologies

The project will produce knowledge sharing reports on the potential emissions reduction opportunities at the port Kembla steel works and a short list of prioritised options for further consideration.

Related publications and key links:
ARENA Project Page

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


June 2022