Decarbonisation should moderate falling steel demand: BHP

Created on:2022-10-21


Decarbonisation should moderate falling steel demand: BHP


Mining giant BHP has raised its global finished steel demand forecasts for 2030 and 2050 as decarbonisation of power is expected to boost steel consumption, Kallanish notes.

Compared to the previous tonnages, the firm has lifted its forecasts for steel consumption by 2% or 42 million tonnes for 2030, and 4% or 76mt for 2050, due to increased demand from green power.

The figures were released in a presentation to analysts on a site tour this week. Though the presentation did not include absolute numbers for BHP’s steel demand forecasts for 2030 and 2050, the revision in both absolute and percentage terms implies 2030 and 2050 demand are forecast at around 2.1 billion tonnes and 1.9 billion t respectively. Demand would therefore still decline by some 200 million t between 2030 and 2050.

“Looking solely at steel demand from the wind and solar segment, it is expected to increase five-fold from today to 2050,” BHP says.

According to BHP, power generation currently provides less than 2% of global steel demand.

“That is expected to triple by 2050, noting every percentage point increase in share in that year will equate to between 20mt and 25mt,” it says.

BHP notes the decarbonisation of power will be dominated by onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), with complementary roles to be played by offshore wind, hydro and nuclear energy.

Where pure steel intensity per megawatt of capacity is concerned, wind and hydro power are the clear standouts, it says.

It also says offshore wind capacity requires 190 tonnes of steel per MW, and onshore capacity requires 124t.

Hydro capacity requires 161t, while solar is less steel intensive, at 45t per MW.

“But the sheer scale of the projected solar buildout makes it the second largest contributor to the overall uplift in steel demand from power generation, behind only onshore wind,” it says.


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