Steel industry thrilled with Algoma Steel announcement

Workers at Algoma Steel were sent to hospital after a workplace incident exposed them to hydrogen cyanide. Feb. 29/2020 (Jairus Patterson)

A steel producers’ association is ecstatic that Algoma Steel receiving hundreds of million of dollars from the federal government.

The head of the Canadian Steel Producers Association couldn’t contain her excitement about Algoma Steel in the Sault taking a major step in going green.

“Every individual steel company is looking at what they can do," said Catherine Cobden, president and CEO of the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

“Members in our organization announced a net zero call-to-action plan. It’s an aspirational goal and we do take the issue of climate change seriously.”

Algoma Steel is moving away from traditional steelmaking to what’s called electric arc furnace steelmaking (EAF).

“Algoma is taking coal out of the equation and instead is putting in recycled steel as a component of the steelmaking process,” said Cobden.

“It basically uses the electricity system and since Canada has such a green electrical grid, it really helps in the greening up of this opportunity.”

Cobden said the country’s steel sector wants to support Canada’s customer base the best it can.

“As a key supplier in a vast array of sectors, we want to be the green supplier of choice," she said. "We want the market to look at Canadian steel and say we are assured that this comes from the greenest possible production facilities in the world.”

Cobden added that China, Indonesia and many other countries do not develop steel with the same green credentials as in Canada.