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June 2004

U.S. Steel Industry Reports a 17 Percent Reduction in Energy Intensity

In a just-completed progress report to the Department of Energy (DOE), the United States steel industry reports achieving a 17 percent reduction since 1990 in energy intensity per ton of steel shipped. Because of the close relationship between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the industry’s aggregate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per ton of steel shipped were reduced by a comparable amount during this same period.

“The steel industry has a standing commitment to sustainability,” said David S. Sutherland, chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and chairman and CEO of IPSCO, Inc., “which is backed by significant investment in new technologies to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and heighten productivity.”

The American steel industry has been a leader in reducing energy intensity in the steel manufacturing process and correspondingly reducing greenhouse gas emissions through recycling and process innovation. The steel industry has further committed to achieving a 10 percent increase in sector-wide average energy efficiency by 2012, using a 2002 baseline of approximately 14 million BTU per ton of steel shipped as part of the DOE’s Climate VISION Program.

“To achieve this ambitious goal will be extremely difficult,” Sutherland said. “We believe it is possible, but we have to broaden and accelerate our research into new technologies. Our proposed partnership with DOE to fund the CO2 Breakthrough Program is, therefore, critical to our success.”

Sutherland added that the industry is addressing the goal with a combination of restructuring, technological advancements, increased recycling and a wide variety of process improvements.

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