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How to promote the reasonable and orderly development of EAF steelmaking in China?
Author: Source: Views: Date:2019-06-11 10:40


Visiting Wang Xinjiang, Vice-President and Secretary-General of China Metal Society

What is the current development situation of EAF steelmaking in China? What are the problems? Has the development of EAF steelmaking been "overheated" in the past two years? How to achieve rational and orderly development in the future? On May 22, on the eve of the Second Forum on the Scientific Development of EAF Steelmaking in China, Wang Xinjiang, Vice President and Secretary-General of the China Metal Society, received an interview with reporters on several hot issues of EAF steelmaking in China.

The proportion of EAF steel in China is relatively low, and it has been developing rapidly in the near future.

Compared with the world average level, the proportion of EAF steel in China has been low. In 2017, the output of EAF steel in China was 74.49 million tons, accounting for 9.3% of the total output of crude steel; in 2018, the output of EAF steel was close to 100 million tons, accounting for 10%, but still far below the global EAF steel ratio of 25.2% in the same period.

However, in the past two years, EAF steelmaking has shown a rapid development trend. According to the capacity replacement schemes issued by provinces, 69 new electric furnaces with capacity replacement were built from 2017 to 2023, involving 53.6 million tons of capacity; 79 electric furnaces were eliminated and 380.07 million tons of capacity were eliminated. Although the National Development and Reform Commission has clear guidelines for the development of electric furnaces, the orders of electric furnaces equipment manufacturers continue to rise. The orders of large domestic electric furnaces manufacturers are very full and in short supply.

Wang Xinjiang told reporters that this is related to the promotion of structural reform on the supply side of the iron and steel industry and the comprehensive ban on "floor steel". In recent years, through the elimination of excess capacity and the complete banning of "floor steel", the iron and steel industry has shown a stable to good operation. At the same time, a large number of "floor steel" have been banned, resulting in the gradual release of scrap resources, and the decline in prices. In addition to the increasingly urgent demand of the whole society for green, low-carbon sustainable development, the short-process steelmaking process of electric furnace with low energy consumption and low emission has begun to become the focus of attention and is developing rapidly.

"It is noteworthy that, on the one hand, the conventional electric arc furnace is still used in the part of the newly-built EAF short-process steelmaking plant, and the level of technology and equipment is not high, which does not conform to the development trend of green and intelligent EAF steelmaking; on the other hand, for the iron and steel industry which is in the stage of structural reform on the supply side and resolving excess capacity, the EAF construction will be opened in an unprincipled and extensive manner. This will lead to a new increase in the production capacity of EAF steel in the short term, which will greatly reduce the effectiveness of resolving excess production capacity, and even cause the industry to fall into disorder again. Wang Xinjiang stressed that "therefore, it is necessary to strengthen policy guidance and technical support so as to achieve a reasonable and orderly development of China's blast furnace steelmaking."

Developing EAF steelmaking should adhere to the direction of greening and intellectualization

EAF steelmaking is a short green process with low carbon emission in iron and steel production. However, there are many forms of technological equipment, mainly the patented technology of Germany, Italy and Japan. There is no EAF equipment with independent intellectual property rights in China. Therefore, with the rapid development of EAF steelmaking, it is necessary to increase policy support for the development of various EAF steelmaking process equipment, determine the development direction of EAF equipment, and avoid detours.

Wang Xinjiang believes that greening and intellectualization are the development trend of EAF steelmaking technology in the future, which is the basic direction to adhere to. In recent years, China's EAF steelmaking has made great progress in green clean production, intelligent detection and control on the basis of the original high-efficiency energy saving smelting technology, but in the electric arc furnace waste heat recovery technology, dioxin treatment technology, intelligent batching, intelligent electrode regulation, multi energy furnace door robot, continuous temperature measuring technology of molten pool, foam slag detection and control technology, furnace gas On-line analysis technology, intelligent terminal point of electric arc furnace steelmaking, integrated quality and cost control technology of electric arc furnace steelmaking process are not widely used, or lack of independent technology, and even lack of large data analysis and optimization platform and overall solution of short-process intelligent steel plant, which are aimed at the operation, process, quality, cost and environmental protection of electric arc furnace steelmaking process. Improvement of competitiveness of electric furnace short process. This will be the key problem to be solved in future EAF steelmaking.

Wang Xinjiang suggested that when building new EAF steelmaking projects in the future, we should adhere to the development principle of green, efficient and low pollution, especially to avoid a large amount of flue gas outside when adding scrap to the traditional EAF cover. The operation technology of closed/semi-closed electric furnace should be developed, scrap should be preheated and continuously added, dioxins in the flue gas of electric furnace should be treated to discharge (0.5ng-TEQ/Nm3), and excess decibel noise of electric furnace should be treated to meet the standard. Scrap should be classified strictly to prevent the residual elements in scrap from affecting the quality of EAF steel. "Therefore, it is suggested to set up a special project of scientific and technological innovation to promote the development of green and intelligent technology of electric furnace short process." He pointed out.

In addition, Wang Xinjiang stressed that while promoting low carbon emission EAF steelmaking, China should start carbon trading market in steel industry as soon as possible and build green steel.

The scrap steel decides the survival of electric furnace. It is necessary to strengthen the standard management of scrap steel industry.

Scrap steel is the main material of EAF steelmaking, which determines the survival of EAF. Before striking "floor steel", the cost of EAF steel was higher than that of converter steel. At the end of 2016, the state began to forcefully ban the medium frequency furnace, which led to a periodic surplus of scrap resources, a sharp drop in scrap prices, a large number of scrap from the original informal channels to scrap processing access enterprises and mainstream steel plants, and the national standard enterprises increased their resource supply by 67 million tons per month. Due to the increase of resources, steel scrap has been used in blast furnace process in iron and steel enterprises, and scrap has been used in converter process to compete with electric furnace for scrap.

"With the rapid growth of EAF steel output, the problems exposed in the scrap steel industry should be paid enough attention. It is suggested that relevant departments take the lead in the work, guide the integrated development of the scrap steel industry, improve the overall quality and technical level of the industry, promote the industrialization and intellectualization of scrap steel processing enterprises, and do a good job of basic work for green steel construction." Wang Xinjiang told reporters.

Wang Xinjiang pointed out that since the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology first promulgated the admission conditions for scrap steel processing industry in 2012, 254 scrap steel processing and admission enterprises have promoted the construction of scrap steel processing and distribution centers and demonstration bases for scrap steel processing and distribution, and strengthened the standardized management of scrap steel industry in China. However, the channel construction of scrap steel recycling and the integrated distribution system of scrap steel still need to be further improved. Relevant policies need to be formulated or further improved in the aspects of industry standards, enterprise norms, tax policies, processing capacity and regional resource integration.

Improving Cost Competitiveness and Eliminating Bottlenecks in the Development of EAF Steel.

Wang Xinjiang told reporters that the cost competitiveness of EAF steel is the main factor that restricts the development of EAF short process in China for a long time. Under the current conditions in China, due to the influence of high scrap price and power price, the production cost of EAF steelmaking with scrap steel is more than 400 yuan/ton higher than that of BF-BOF process.

Relevant research shows that when the scrap price is higher than 1648 yuan/ton, the cost of EAF steelmaking is bound to exceed the cost of converter steelmaking. "At present, the price of scrap steel in China is between 2300 yuan/ton and 2400 yuan/ton, which has a negative impact on the development of EAF steel. Therefore, we call for the use of scrap steel in blast furnace process to improve the supply-demand relationship of scrap steel and maintain the price stability of scrap steel." Wang Xinjiang said.

Regarding the electricity price, Wang Xinjiang pointed out that "China's electric power system reform has been carried out for many years, but it has not fundamentally changed the situation that the institutional monopoly leads to the high price of industrial electricity. Deepening the reform of electric power system is very important to improve the international competitiveness of China's manufacturing industry. Therefore, it is suggested that the relevant departments of the state conduct joint thematic research and formulate relevant policies."

Rational Layout and Scientific Development of Electric Furnace Steelmaking

The contradiction between the layout of China's iron and steel industry and the environmental carrying capacity and the market consumption is prominent, which is one of the important factors restricting the high-quality development of China's social economy and iron and steel industry. Therefore, it will be one of the important principles of China's iron and steel industry policy in the 13th Five-Year Plan and a period of time to adhere to the overall control of the total amount, promote the combination of layout adjustment and industrial technology structure optimization.

Wang Xinjiang suggested that the development of short-process EAF steels should be encouraged in the process of adjusting the layout and capacity replacement of the iron and steel industry. China's iron and steel industry shows an unreasonable layout of "more east than west", "more north than south", "less south" and regional concentration. Therefore, he suggests that the policy of capacity replacement should be further improved, and that the iron and steel enterprises in "2+26" cities such as northern Tianjin and Hebei, southern Shanxi and Hebei should transfer their capacity to the coastal areas of southwest, northwest and South China in the form of short electric furnace process, while transferring it to the coastal areas of South China. The regional iron and steel enterprises should formulate financial incentive and subsidy policies for capacity transfer, help solve the social problems of the resettlement of workers in the enterprises with capacity transfer, and resolve the problems of the mismatch between regional capacity and environmental capacity and carrying capacity.

"In actively developing EAF steelmaking, we should strictly implement the principles of total iron and steel production control and capacity replacement in provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government and autonomous regions, so as to avoid short-term actions of a few places and enterprises aggravating excess capacity. At the same time, we should establish as soon as possible the access standard for the construction of EAF short process steel plant, standardize the transformation of new EAF steel plant and old plant, and make the EAF short process steel plant develop reasonably and orderly. Wang Xinjiang stressed to reporters.

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