Net Zero Steel Initiative

Archetype Explorer

The Archetype Explorer is an interactive tool that is based on the steel sector transition strategy model, which has been developed as part of the Net-Zero Steel Initiative (NZSI) in close collaboration with steel industry representatives and experts.

The tool allows you to configure a steel plant by selecting the initial technology, location-dependent parameters, year of switch and other factors. It enables the user to explore the transition strategy and likeliness of potential net-zero compatible end-state technologies and associated transitional technology switches.

The archetype explorer is intended to be a flexible tool for interested parties to determine what options and potential net-zero compatible end-state technologies can be considered and to further explore the influence of location-dependent parameters.

The tool is not intended to prescribe the right solution given a plant context. The model is based on averages and therefore gives an indication. Every real-life plant will deviate from the average and that could mean that specific switches become more or less favourable.

Interpreting Your Results

You can evaluate in Step 2 how favourable the switch towards another steelmaking technology is. Each column represents any of the three optimisation perspectives I) Minimising Total Cost of Ownership, II) Maximising Abatement potential III) Minimising Capital Expenditure.

TCO column – The TCO column indicates whether the switch from your configured archetype to any of the technologies in the list are favourable from a Total Cost of Ownership perspective. ‘lowest’ indicates that switching towards this steelmaking technology likely results in a switch with the lowest TCO, which means that new technology could be cost-competitive in terms of Total Cost of Ownership. In a similar fashion, ‘low’ indicates a low increase in TCO and ‘medium’ indicates a medium increase in TCO.

Abatement column – The Abatement column indicates whether the switch from your configured archetype to any of the technologies in the list are favourable from an abatement perspective. 'Fastest’, indicates that switching towards this steelmaking technology likely results a switch with the fastest Abatement, which means that switch delivers greenhouse gas abatement considered net-zero-compatible (only net-zero steelmaking technologies). Following aforementioned logic, 'fast’ indicates a switch that delivers more than 50% abatement but is not net-zero technology. 'Moderate’ indicates a switch that delivers less than 50% abatement.

CapEx column – The CapEx column indicates whether the switch from your configured archetype to any of the technologies in the list are favourable from a Capital Expenditure perspective. ‘lowest’, indicates that switching towards this steelmaking technology likely results a switch with the lowest Capital Expenditures. ‘low’ indicates a low CapEx switch and ‘medium’ indicates a medium CapEx switch.

For each perspective (column) the explorer considers nineteen technology archetypes, from the production routes in use today (DRI-EAF, BF-BOF, and EAF) to emerging technologies (including DRI-melt-BOF, Smelting reduction, and Iron ore electrolysis).

Not Available – The feasibility ranking may indicate whether a given technology is Not Available (N/A) for your configured archetype. That means that the technology is not yet expected to be commercially available in the switch year you are evaluating. CCU specifically is Not Available when your plant is not nearby an industrial cluster.

There are three types of steelmaking technologies in the Explorer indicated with a ^, * or none.

^ = Net-Zero Steelmaking technology – These technologies are Net-Zero compliant and are thereby the only technologies that should be considered in 2050.

* = Transitionary steelmaking technology – These technologies are not Net-Zero compliant, but can have a transitionary role in reducing emissions early. E.g., without affecting the relining schedule.

None = Initial technology. This is not a technology that is likely to switch towards, since it does not set you up towards Net Zero Pathway.

Transitionary technologies – The explorer allows to switch from an initial technology (Avg BF-BOF, BAT BF-BOF & DRI-EAF) towards transitionary technologies that offer some abatement. When switching again from a transitionary technology, the Explorer only allows to switch to a Net-Zero Steelmaking technology (indicated with …^).