The State Government has outlined a path to be a leader in the global decarbonisation of iron and steel with the unveiling of a Green Iron and Steel Strategy, alongside a $3.6 million State Budget investment. 

The strategy outlines three objectives and nine key actions the government will take to establish a world-leading green iron industry and supply chain in South Australia, including the ambition to facilitate a new hydrogen-based green iron plant in South Australian by 2030 or earlier. 

The strategy is backed by the $3.6 million investment in the 2024-25 State Budget to support a global Expression of Interest (EoI) process to engage companies in developing a green iron industry and supply chain in South Australia. 

The first part of the EoI process will see companies working with government in a four-month detailed engagement process to define ways to support industry investment in South Australian green iron. 

Leaders from the mining, steel and energy sectors attended a forum on 20 June to discuss the future of South Australia’s green iron and steel industry. These include BHP, BlueScope, Fortescue Energy, GFG Alliance, Nippon Steel, NatSteel, Thyssenkrupp, Lodestone Mines, Magnetite Mines, Iron Road, ZEN Energy, Epic Energy, Flinders Port Holdings, ElectraNet, Aurizon, Cavpower and HSBC Bank. 

Companies will have until 1 October to submit their EoI. A report outlining submissions and next steps will then be developed and is expected to be released before the end of 2024. 

The release of the strategy and the commencement of engagement on the EoI builds on a study released in May which indicated that South Australian green iron has a 21 per cent cost advantage when compared with shipping its raw components to Europe. 

The study referenced South Australia’s magnetite resources, its early leadership in renewable energy and hydrogen economy and the co-location of these natural advantages with existing steelmaking and smelting facilities. 

South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas, said that South Australia is building a world-leading green iron industry and supply chain and that this EoI is a decisive step in that process. 

“With our abundant magnetite resources and renewable energy generation, South Australia is well placed to become a global green iron powerhouse,” Mr Malinauskas said.  

“South Australia offers an unparalleled opportunity for companies to be part of the green iron transformation and this government is committed to doing what is required to a partner of choice for industry in achieving this global ambition. 

“The Green Iron Opportunity is not just for steelmakers – these opportunities span all the way from the ‘pit to the port’ and will see investment along a large supply chain that includes mining, infrastructure, energy, technology and more.” 

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Tom Koutsantonis, said that the Green Iron and Steel Strategy will focus South Australia’s efforts, innovation and the state’s natural advantages into making it a global partner of choice in decarbonised steelmaking. 

“Our leadership through massive investments into renewable energy, batteries and hydrogen has put us in the position we’re in now,” Mr Koutsantonis said.  

“The next step is to export our abundant resources and energy to the world and green iron gives us an opportunity to do both. 

“With world-leading regulation such as the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act, South Australia is committed to making it easier to do business here and attract investment into our green iron industry.” 

“Working together we can make green iron production a reality. This EoI signals our commitment to work with industry to achieve this ambition and establish a world-leading industry and supply chain that benefits South Australia for generations to come.”  

Image: DedMityay/shutterstock.com 

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