A BlueScope report released this week highlights the hurdles facing the steelmaker before it can run with new technologies to reduce emissions.
The company's Sustainability Report 2019-20 takes a broad view of that word, looking at safe workplaces, responsible supply chains and creating a business that is sustainable in the long term, as well as climate issues.
In regards to climate change, the report states that the company recognises "that the global economy must transition to net zero by the middle of this century to limit global increases in temperature to well below two degrees".
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For the steel industry to contribute would require "breakthrough technology".
On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Port Kembla steelworks to announce a $1.9 billion package to fund research to find these new technologies.
BlueScope's boss of Australian operations John Nowlan was there for the announcement and told the Mercury on Thursday that the steelmaker had a history of adopting new technologies.
Were the technology to fail or reduce steel output, there is no other blast furnace to pick up the slack.
However, the company's sustainability report highlights several factors that could pose hurdles to bringing in new technology to reduce carbon emissions.
One of those is that the steelmaker only has one blast furnace after it shut down a second one in 2011, which would create and all-or-nothing approach.
"BlueScope has only one operational blast furnace in its portfolio at Port Kembla steelworks, our largest steelmaking site globally, amplifying the technical and commercial risks of introducing novel technology compared to the risk faced by larger global steelmakers with multiple blast furnaces," the report stated.
Were the technology to fail or reduce BlueScope's steel output, there is no other blast furnace to pick up the slack.
Another issue surrounds the timing of upgrades to the blast furnace and whether alternative technologies would be tested, proven and ready to go at a time BlueScope was making those investment decisions.
"While several potential technologies are in development, many are still years away from being turned into commercially available plant and equipment," the report stated.
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