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Business trends

Japanese steelmakers feel the heat as world shuns coal

High-quality steel supplied to automakers relies on blast furnaces

A worker controls a tapping of a blast furnace at Germany's industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp in Duisburg.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The global trend away from coal has reached the steel industry, presenting a stark challenge for Japanese companies that rely on powerful coke-powered blast furnaces to produce high-performance products.

At the World Steel Association's annual meeting being held in Tokyo, Tata Steel Vice President Sunil Bhaskaran called on the industry to do more to reduce its environmental impact. The Indian steelmaker announced a technology last month that could slash carbon dioxide emissions from its European facilities by more than 50%.

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