Archetype Explorer

The Archetype Explorer is an interactive tool 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 enables you to explore the favourability of switching to different steelmaking technologies on the path to net-zero steel. A steel plant can be configured  by selecting the current steelmaking technology, year of investment, location based parameters, and other factors.  
The Archetype Explorer is intended to be a flexible tool for interested parties to determine what technology options 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 to another steelmaking technology is based on three optimisation perspectives I) minimising total cost of ownership, II) maximising emissions 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 to this steelmaking technology likely results in a TCO <10% higher than the configured archetype. ‘low’ indicates an increase in TCO that is 10-30% higher than the configured archetype and ‘medium’ indicates anincrease in TCO >30% higher than the configured archetype.

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 emissions abatement perspective. ‘fastest’ indicates that switching to this steelmaking technology results in greenhouse gas abatement considered net-zero-compatible (only Net-Zero Steelmaking Technologies). ‘fast’ indicates a switch that delivers more than 50% emissions abatement relative to your initial technology, but is not a net-zero steelmaking technology. ‘moderate’ indicates a switch that delivers less than 50% emissions abatement relative to your initial technology.

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  in capital expenditures less than those required to reline a BAT BF-BOF archetype. ‘low’ indicates capital expenditures less than those required to switch from an avg BF-BOF to a BAT BF-BOF with CCS, and ‘medium’ indicates capital expenditures greater than this.   

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 that a given technology is Not Available (N/A) for your configured archetype. This is for one of three reasons. The technology may be: 1. not yet expected to be commercially available in the switch year you are evaluating, 2. not applicable to your location (CCU specifically is Not Available when your plant is not nearby an industrial cluster), or 3. not a Net-Zero Steelmaking Technology (applicable for all years after 2030).

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

^ = Net-Zero Steelmaking Technology – These technologies are net-zero compatible and are the only technologies that should be considered in 2050. 

* = Transitionary Steelmaking Technology – These technologies are not net-zero compatible, 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 favourable to switch to, since it does not set you up towards a net-zero pathway.

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.