Steelmaker Bluescope will pursue net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the company says it will be dependent on government support and the development of breakthrough technologies like hydrogen.
- Bluescope announces an annual profit of nearly $1.2 billion
- The company is stepping up its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting a net zero by 2050 target
- CEO Mark Vassella says the target will only be achieved with breakthrough technologies and government support
Bluescope announced a net profit after tax of $1.19 billion, up from $96.5 million last year.
The company also announced a final dividend of 25 cents per share plus a bonus dividend of 19 cents, and an on-market share buy-back worth up to $500 million.
Managing director and chief executive Mark Vassella said hitting net zero was dependent on a range of factors such as affordable and reliable renewable energy.
He also said hydrogen offered one possible way forward.
“One of the things we are looking at and working with the NSW government is how something like an electrolyser might be set up at Port Kembla for us to produce some hydrogen and explore that technology further.”
“We have used coke ovens gasses in the blast furnaces previously which actually have hydrogen in them.
“The team at Port Kembla have some expertise in this area, but that’s one of the newer technologies, the breakthrough technologies that we see as an opportunity to further reduce our emissions.”
Government support needed
Mr Vassella said the 2050 net zero goal was also highly dependent on the appropriate public policy settings.
“Whether it’s with renewable energy, hydrogen production, the decarbonisation of the grid, there is a role that must be played here in terms of putting in place the right policy settings to allow manufacturers and steelmakers like us take advantage of those policy settings,” he said.
He said carbon capture technologies were another potential opportunity.
“We will put the effort into decreasing the amount of carbon that we produce but also thinking about new technologies, thinking about carbon capture and storage, the full range of technologies are under review,” he said.
The company will allocate up to $150 million over the next five years towards the plan and early next month will reveal further details of its climate action plan including a “decarbonisation pathway”.