To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of international progress on trials of hydrogen-based steelmaking; and if he will take steps to introduce a similar pilot in the UK.
The UK is monitoring international progress on low carbon steel making trials, using hydrogen and other technologies, and is actively engaged in international initiatives to support industrial decarbonisation innovation, including the Mission Innovation platform and the Leadership Group for Industry Transition.
Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits government to work with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. The Steel Council offers the forum for government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. Hydrogen-based steelmaking is one of the technological approaches being examined as part of this process.
The UK steel sector will be given the opportunity to bid into industrial fuel switching innovation programmes under the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), which is intended to promote switching away from more carbon-intensive fuel sources. The Government has also announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the UK steel sector to transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, through investment in new technologies and processes.