Development and Provision of Eco-friendly Processes and Products
Based on its corporate philosophy of "contributing to society with the world's most innovative technology," the JFE Group develops and provides processes and products for contributing to climate change solutions and reducing its environmental impact. Through the initiatives described in the JFE Group Environmental Vision for 2050, intended to expand our contributions to reducing CO₂ emissions generated by the JFE Group and society as well as other efforts to develop and provide processes and products related to preserving the global environment, the Group is striving to enhance its corporate value and play its part in realizing a sustainable society.
Primary Eco-friendly Products and Technologies by Business Segments
Each operating company of the JFE Group leverages its respective strengths to develop and provide a variety of eco-friendly products and technologies.
Primary Eco-friendly Products and Technologies
|Product/Technology||Environmental Benefit||Operating Company||Status|
|Ferro-coke||Save energy and reduce CO₂ emissions||JFE Steel||Experimental operation|
|Burner lance||Save energy and reduce CO₂ emissions||In operation|
|Guidance system for fuels/steam/power management||Save energy||Partially in operation|
|Zero-emission ship fuels through CCU/CCS||Reduce CO₂ emissions||Under development|
|Multi-material structure of Ultra-high strength steel with resin||Improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO₂ emissions||Under development|
|1.5 GPa-grade high-tensile strength cold-rolled steel sheets||Improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO₂ emissions||Commercialized|
|Type 1 and Type 2 accumulators for hydrogen stations||Supply hydrogen||Commercialized|
|Calcia improvement material||Recycle resources and preserve biodiversity||JFE Steel||Commercialized|
|Steel slag hydrated matrix||Recycle resources and reduce CO₂ emissions||Commercialized|
|Precast concrete products mixed with finely ground blast furnace slag||Recycle resources and reduce CO₂ emissions||Commercialized|
|Granulated blast furnace slag||Recycle resources and preserve biodiversity and reduce CO₂ emissions||Commercialized|
|Marine Stone®||Recycle resources and preserve biodiversity||Commercialized|
|Frontier Rock®||Recycle resources and preserve biodiversity and reduce CO₂ emissions||Commercialized|
|Marine Block®||Recycle resources and preserve biodiversity and reduce CO₂ emissions||Commercialized|
|Food waste recycling business||Recycle resources and expand renewable energy||J&T Kankyo||Business expansion|
|Establishing new regional electricity businesses||Expand renewable energy||JFE Engineering||Business expansion|
|Integrated plant management system J-Answer||Save energy and gain efficiency||Started operation|
|Carbon recycling initiatives (CO₂ separation and capture, waste to chemical)||Reduce CO₂ emissions||Under development, experimental operation|
|Aerobic granular sledge technology||Improve water quality||Under development|
|Contribution to the realization of a circular economy||Recycle resources and save energy||Business expansion|
|Further expansion of global supply chain for the Steel Sheets Business||Save energy and reduce CO₂ emissions||JFE Shoji||Sales expansion|
|Building a supply chain for steel materials and processed products for offshore wind power generation||Expand renewable energy||Business expansion|
|Expansion of biomass fuel trading||Expand renewable energy and reduce CO₂ emissions||Sales expansion|
|Expansion of scrap trading helps in the development of a recycling-oriented society||Recycle resources and reduce CO₂ emissions||Sales expansion|
For further details on the JFE Group Environmental Vision for 2050, refer to the following resources.The JFE Group Environmental Vision for 2050
The JFE Group Environmental Vision for 2050, presentation material on May 25, 2021
Ferro-coke, an innovative raw material for blast furnaces, is made by mixing low-grade coke and iron ore. The ultra-fine metallic iron inside acts as a catalyst and accelerates the reduction reaction rate in the blast furnace, reducing the amount of coke required and thus significantly reducing the amount of CO₂ generated.
Since FY2017, JFE Steel has been promoting the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) project, the development of environmental technology for the steelmaking process, and technological development of the iron making process using Ferro-coke. As part of the project, a medium-scale facility with the capacity to produce 300 tonnes of Ferro-coke per day was constructed in the Fukuyama district of the JFE Steel West Japan Works, covering 12,600 square meters of ground. Its experimental operation started in October 2020. This facility is designed to handle all steps involved in the production of Ferro-coke, from crushing and drying to molding and dry distillation and is capable of producing one-fifth of the production capacity expected for full commercialization (1,500 tonnes per day). It is also capable of recycling Ferro-tar, a byproduct of Ferro-coke production, as a binding agent for briquetting.
In FY2021, the company is preparing for a demonstration study on the effect of using Ferro-coke in blast furnaces over a long period of time. It will subsequently establish a technology that reduces CO₂ emissions and energy consumption in the iron making process by about 10% by around 2023.
JFE Steel's smelting reduction furnaces are equipped with an exclusive, unique technology that melts chromium ore (Cr2O3) in the slag and reduces it with carbonaceous material (coke, coal) to recover metallic chrome (Cr), the raw material for stainless steel. Unlike conventional stainless steel refining processes, this approach significantly reduces the amount of ferrochromium (FeCr) alloys used, which consume a large amount of energy during production, and so it achieves extremely high energy efficiency.
The new technology adds a pure oxygen burner function, one of the world's largest burners using hydrocarbon gas as fuel, to the conventional chromium ore feeder lance. Chromium ore is heated via a high-temperature flame and fed to the furnace, which results in providing the furnace with the necessary heat more efficiently than the conventional method. Other applications for these burner lances are also under consideration, such as incorporating it into normal steel converters to transfer heat for accelerating the rate of scrap melting.
The technology has improved energy efficiency by about 20% and reduced CO₂ emissions by about 10% compared to the conventional method. Also, it received the 53rd (FY2020) Ichimura Prize in Industry for Outstanding Achievement.
Looking ahead, we will apply the technology to the scrap melting process in converters. By helping to increase the amount of scrap used and thus reducing CO₂ emissions, the company will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
A Guidance System for Fuels, Steam and Power management in Steelworks
—Optimization of Energy Consumption Based on Cyber-physical Systems
JFE Steel developed what it calls the Guidance System for operators to efficiently utilize fuels and electricity in domestic steelworks to reduce energy consumption and CO₂ emissions. So far, the system has been introduced in the Kurashiki and Fukuyama districts in the JFE Steel West Japan Works and will be rolled out in other sites to increase the overall benefits in reduced energy consumption and CO₂ emissions.
In steelworks, gases, electricity and steam that are generated as by-products by upstream processes are consumed within the same premises. We also purchase fuel and electricity from external sources to meet actual demands. To efficiently utilize fuel and electricity, many different factors need to be managed to minimize cost and energy losses, including the ratio of by-product gases to be distributed to each process, the storage volume of by-product gases, and the amount of electricity and fuel to be purchased.
The Guidance System (1) uses the vast amount of real-time data obtained based on CPS and each factory's detail manufacturing plan, (2) calculates precise future demands, (3) takes into account operational constraints and contract information, (4) runs simulations to determine the optimal operational plan for minimizing external purchases, and (5) guides operators toward this optimal plan.Guidance System to Manage Fuels and Electricity Consumptions at Steelworks (Japanese Only)
—Cross-Industry Initiatives for Zero-Emission Ship Fuels through Methanation Technology
The steel industry relies on ships to transport most of its raw materials and products. Therefore, it is important for the industry to consider how to reduce CO₂ emissions throughout its supply chain. As a member of the Ship Carbon Recycling Working Group (WG) of Japan's Carbon Capture & Reuse Study Group, which was formed in August 2019, JFE Steel participates in exploring the feasibility of utilizing methanation technology for zero-emission ship fuels. This WG has nine participating members, EX Research Institute Ltd., JFE Steel Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Sanoyas Shipbuilding Corporation, JGC Corporation, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK), Nihon Shipyard Co. Ltd., Nippon Steel Corporation and Hitachi Zosen Corporation, and is exploring a value chain that does the following: (1) Separation, capture and liquefaction of CO₂ emitted from steelworks, (2) Transportation of liquefied CO₂ by ship to a hydrogen supply site, (3) Generation of synthetic methane from CO₂ and hydrogen by methanation reaction, and (4) Liquefaction of the synthetic methane assuming that it will be used as marine fuel. In addition to obtaining an approximate value of CO₂ emission, the WG also identifies technical challenges.
Ultra-high Strength Steel Structure Using Resin for Energy Absorption
—Multi-material Technology that Further Reduces Weight of Automobile Structural Parts and Improves Collision Safety Performance
JFE Steel and Iida Industry Co. Ltd. have jointly developed a multi-material structure that uses resin in structural parts for automobiles. The new structure facilitates the use of ultra-high tensile strength steel sheets for the energy-absorbing parts of automobiles.
In recent years, the use of ultra-high-strength steel sheets (tensile strength of 980 MPa or higher) in structural frame parts has significantly increased to meet expectations for both high collision safety performance and automobile weight reduction. These applications, however, have been limited to parts that constitute the cabin, such as the center pillar, where deformation should be limited in a collision. The application of ultra-high strength steel sheets to front and rear side members where collision energy needs to be absorbed by the deformation of the parts, has been difficult because fracture occurs in the steel parts by buckling and severe bending.
To make ultra-high strength steel sheets applicable to energy-absorbing parts, JFE Steel developed a structure in which a highly ductile and adhesive resin, developed by Iida Industry Co. Ltd., is sandwiched between a structural part made of ultra-high strength steel sheet and a part made of thin steel sheet. The ultra-high strength steel sheet in the structure has a greater bending radius and does not break, even when used in energy-absorbing parts and buckled or bent in a collision. As a result, the structure is capable of improving energy-absorbing performance by 53% compared to materials of the same weight and reduces weight by 25% compared to materials with the same energy-absorbing performance.Energy-absorbing, Ultra-high Strength Steel Structure Using Resin (Japanese Only)
1.5 GPa-Grade High-Tensile Strength Cold-Rolled Steel Sheets
In 2020, JFE Steel Corporation announced that its 1.5 GPa-grade (1470 MPa) high-tensile strength cold-rolled steel sheets are now being utilized in vehicle body structural parts, the world's first such adoption in a cold press forming application*1. This constitutes the highest strength of vehicle body structural parts obtained through cold press forming.
In order to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a collision and improve fuel economy through weight reductions, efforts are ongoing to increase the strength of vehicle body structural parts. JFE Steel's 1.5 GPa-grade high-tensile strength cold-rolled steel sheets are already being utilized in parts with simple shapes, such as bumpers and door impact beams. However, the adoption for vehicle body structural parts with complex shapes has been limited to the 1.3 GPa (1,310 MPa) grade until now because increasing the strength of sheets can result in decreased cold press formability and delayed fracture resistance*2, and the adoption of 1.5 GPa-grade high-tensile strength steel sheets through a hot press forming process*3 was more widespread.
JFE Steel used the high cooling capacity of the proprietary WQ method-based*4 continuous annealing process line located at JFE's West Japan Works (Fukuyama District) to reduce the addition of alloy elements and minimize non-uniformity of the steel microstructure. As a result, particularly high yield strength*5 and delayed fracture resistance were simultaneously realized even with the 1.5 GPa-grade high-tensile strength steel sheets while maintaining cold press formability equivalent to that of 1.3 GPa-grade sheets. This enabled the utilization of the 1.5 GPa-grade high-tensile strength steel sheets in vehicle body structural parts through a low-cost and environmentally sound cold press forming process. JFE Steel is contributing to the reduction of CO₂ emissions through this product and its use in automobile components.
*1Based on JFE Steel research
*2Delayed fracture resistance: A property that inhibits the occurrence of static brittle cracking attributed to hydrogen after press molding
*3Hot press forming process: A process in which a material is heated to a high temperature and softened and is then simultaneously molded with a press die and quenched to obtain a high-strength part.
*4WQ method: Water quenching method
*5High yield strength: Strength at which a steel sheet begins to deform. The yield strength directly impacts the strength of a part.1.5 GPa-Grade High-Tensile Strength Cold-Rolled Steel Sheets
Commercialization of Type 1 and Type 2 Accumulators for Hydrogen Stations
In FY2018, JFE Steel and JFE Container have commercialized Japan's first Type 2 accumulator*1 for hydrogen stations and it has been installed at the Toyota Toyoe Hydrogen Station in Aichi Prefecture. In FY2020, they also commercialized a cost-effective, large capacity Type 1 accumulator*2. The straight shape of the container creates microstructures with high resistance to hydrogen embrittlement*3, enabling the accumulator to offer industry-leading pressure range and longevity.
Type 1 accumulator can be manufactured in capacities ranging from 100 to 400 liters, while the industry standard for Type 1 accumulator capacity is 300 liters. The flexibility in accumulator sizes makes it possible to build hydrogen stations more closely tailored to customer needs and reduces construction cost. The Type 2 accumulator, on the other hand, has a wide pressure range and can supply large volumes of hydrogen all at once. Consequently, the accumulators are anticipated to have a role in fuel cell buses and hydrogen stations that require a large volume of hydrogen and therefore demand is expected to rise.
*1Type 2 accumulator: A composite vessel accumulator with carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) wrapped around the body of a steel liner to achieve excellent properties. Part of the research and development undertaken by the JFE Group for the Type 2 accumulator was carried out under the NEDO's hydrogen technology research and development project (FY2013 to FY2017).
*2Type 1 accumulator: A vessel produced using an extra-thick seamless steel pipe. Although Type 1 has a narrower pressure range than Type 2, it boasts a larger capacity and lower cost.
*3hydrogen embrittlement: Deterioration of material's properties by hydrogen.
Calcia Improvement Material
Calcia improvement material is a slag product, which uses converter type steelmaking slag as raw material and is manufactured by controlling composition and adjusting particle size. Dredged soil mixed with calcia improvement material is called calcia improvment soil, which is stronger than the original weak dredged soil, and therefore is able to prevent dredged soil from dissipating into the surrounding area and having a negative impact on the environment when put water.
This enables the use of weak dredged soil in land reclamation, shoal and tideland construction and refilling former dredging sites. In the construction of Shin-Honmoku Wharf in Yokohama Port, it was used as a material for the partition wall*.
*An embankment built under the water surface on the inside of a perimeter wall to divide the land into sections for reclamation.
Steel Slag Hydrated Matrix
Steel slag hydrated matrix is a steel slag product that can be used as a substitute for concrete but uses ground granulated blast furnace slag instead of cement and steel slag instead of natural gravel and sand aggregate as its ingredients. It effectively uses steel slag and does not rely on natural aggregate, thereby reducing environmental impact, uses less cement and in turn reduces CO₂ emissions.
There are many examples of blocks and artificial stones made from steel slag hydrated matrix being used as a substitute for concrete blocks and natural stones in harbor works, including the runway D construction project at Haneda Airport by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and the coastal reconstruction project after the Great East Japan Earthquake. In addition, we are conducting onsite monitoring in the Katsunan Central Zone in Chiba port with the help of a local fishing association to assess the impact of these blocks on marine biodiversity.
Precast Concrete Products Mixed with Finely Ground Blast Furnace Slag
Finely ground blast furnace slag can be used as a cementing material in concrete. This type of concrete exhibits significantly higher durability under harsh conditions such as applications in sewers and exposure to anti-freeze agents. Its effectiveness in reducing environmental impact has been widely understood, although there has recently been growing interest in its practical applications for concrete constructions that require higher durability.
As one of the deliverables for the Japanese government's Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), the Japan Society of Civil Engineers published a (draft) guideline in March 2019 on the application of finely ground blast furnace slag to precast concrete product and its application now includes precast concrete slabs installed in highways and piers. With the application of finely ground blast furnace slag in concrete, the durability of precast products is expected to be greater and more consistent, allowing them to contribute to building national resilience.
Use of Granulated Blast Furnace Slag to Reduce CO₂ Emission
Granulated blast furnace slag in crushed and powdered form can be mixed with cement and used as a substitute for cement for making concrete. This leads to reducing the production of cement hence lower CO₂ emissions. For example, producing one tonne of blast furnace slag cement with 45% of its content substituted with granulated blast furnace slag emits 41% less CO₂ than conventional cement. In FY2020, JFE Steel supplied approximately 6.4 million tonnes of granulated blast furnace slag to cement production, equivalent to a reduction of approximately 4.55 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions.
CO₂ Emission for Producing 1 Tonne of Cement (Unit: kg-CO₂ / ton)
|CO₂ Emissions Source||Regular Cement||Blast Furnace Slag Cement|
Restoring Marine Ecosystems Using Steel Slag Products and Tackling Blue Carbon
Marine Stone ®, a steel slag with adjusted particle size, has the function of controlling the generation of hydrogen sulfide from the silty sediment in enclosed coastal seas and improving the environment where organisms can live its effectiveness in improving marine environments has been widely recognized, and the joint project with Hiroshima University received the Minister's Prize (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) in the 12th Eco Products Awards and the Grand Prize in the 26th Nikkei Global Environmental Technology Award.
Another steel slag product, Frontier Rock®, consists of artificial stones made from steel slag hydrated matrix and provides an excellent base for seaweed bed and fishing reef. A submerged bank built on the seabed off the coast of Minami-Izu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture, has successfully recovered fishery resources, attracting large perennial seaweeds and sawfish, as well as lobsters, turban shells, and a variety of fish.
In addition, we are focusing on blue carbon (carbon absorbed and fixed by marine organisms), which has been a field of active research in recent years. We are involved in creating seaweed beds using steel slag products, measuring the amount of carbon absorbed by the seaweed beds and testing Marine Block® as beds for corals.
Contributing to the Creation of an Attractive Seaside Town by Utilizing Steel Slag Products (Partnership Agreement with Yokohama City)
In a joint research project with Yokohama City, JFE Steel has confirmed that steel slag products, including Marine Block®, which is steel slag absorbing CO2 gas, provide a highly effective base for nurturing and growing marine organisms while also facilitating the natural purification of seawater. To continue improving the marine environment in Yokohama Bay and developing an attractive seaside town, we signed a new partnership agreement* with Yokohama City in March 2020. Under this agreement, we have continued to work toward improving the marine environment.
*Partnership agreement to improve the marine environment in Yokohama Bay and develop an attractive seaside town
Food Waste Recycling Business
J&T Recycling Co., a subsidiary of JFE Engineering, is engaged in the food waste recycling business, in which food waste is collected and fermented to produce methane gas which is then used as fuel to generate power.
The company will promote its food waste recycling business and contribute to the expansion of renewable energy supply through J Bio Food Recycle Co., Ltd., which was established in 2018, Sapporo Bio Food Recycle Corporation (located in Sapporo-city, Hokkaido, acquired in 2019), Tohoku Bio Food Recycle Corporation (located in Sendai-city, Miyagi, established in 2019 jointly with East Japan Railway Company, Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., Tohoku Railway Transportation Co. Ltd., scheduled to start operation in 2022), and Bios Komaki Co. Ltd. (located in Komaki-city, Aichi, acquired in 2020).
|Company Name||Volume of Food Waste Processed||Estimated Amount of Electricity
|J Bio Food Recycle Co., Ltd.||80 tonnes per day||11,000 MWh||In operation|
|Sapporo Bio Food Recycle Corporation||68 tonnes per day||1,470 MWh
(2020 actual data)
|In operation, also engaged in feed
and fertilizer production from food waste
|Tohoku Bio Food Recycle Corporation||40 tonnes per day||6,500 MWh||Scheduled to start operation in FY2022|
|Bios Komaki Co. Ltd.||120 tonnes per day||9,200 MWh||Scheduled to start operation in FY2022|
Regional Electricity Retail Businesses in Partnership with the Local Municipal Governments through Developing New Regional Electricity Businesses
JFE Engineering has established several regional electricity retail companies in partnership with local municipal governments. It is actively involved in the regional electricity business, with a particular focus on the distribution of renewable energy.
JFE Engineering is establishing frameworks for effectively using renewable energies such as hydropower and geothermal energy in regions and for supplying electricity from renewable energy plants constructed by JFE Engineering, such as waste-fueled, to regional public facilities. Through these efforts, JFE Engineering is supporting local production and consumption of electricity. These regional electricity businesses promote the use of renewable energy and decarbonization of the region while also reducing administrative costs and enhancing the region's industrial infrastructure.
Integrated Plant Management System, J-Answer
JFE Engineering has developed the following systems for more advanced plant operations, and is actively deploying them to ensure stable plant operation.
- ・Pla'cello:Data analysis platform which allows users with no specialized IT knowledge to leverage AI and big data
- ・PAZ: Plant operation management system that consolidates and utilizes operational data from environmental plants and is equipped with various functions including automatic report creation
- ・BRA-ING: Automated incinerator operation system that uses AI image analysis and other techniques to systemize incinerator plant operations that were formerly performed manually
- ・Global Remote Center (GRC): Remote center that consolidates data from operating plants nationwide, and monitors and operates them remotely
The company employs these systems for the operation of its own plants, and in 2019, became the first in Japan to operate a fully unmanned waste treatment facility.
J-Answer is a platform system that provides the ideal solution for full plant operation by linking systems that had been separately developed, sharing data between these systems, analyzing linked data, and so on. Using the vast knowledge acquired in construction and from operating a wide range of environmental plants, the company optimally combined operational elements that are common between these plants and those that are unique, to develop "J-Answer for waste" for waste treatment plants and "J-Answer for aqua" for water treatment plants. JFE Engineering will apply these systems to its plant operations and contribute to the realization of a recycling-oriented society. This will also help to reduce the impact of plant operations on the environment, thus contributing to environment preservation.Integrated Plant Management System J-Answer (Japanse Only)
Carbon Recycling Initiatives (CO2 Separation and Collection, Waste to Chemical)
The JFE Engineering Group is already engaged in recycling plastic wastes, including bottle-to-bottle recycling for PET bottles. In addition, the Group is also developing a new technology that simultaneously achieves carbon recycling of CO2 and chemical recycling of waste plastics. By developing technologies for separating and capturing CO2 generated from incinerators and power generation facilities, as well as technologies for manufacturing chemical products using the captured CO2, the Group will contribute to the realization of a low-carbon, recycling-oriented society.
Expanding Sewage Treatment Using Aerobic Granular Sledge Technology to Southeast Asia
To meet the growing need for sewage treatment in Southeast Asia arising from rapid centralization of the population, JFE Engineering is expanding the application of Aerobic Granules method*, a compact, energy efficient wastewater treatment technology.
Traditional wastewater treatment uses activated sludge, composed of groups of microorganisms. Since it takes Activated sludge a long time until sedimentation and purified water separation, the final sedimentation basins of sewage treatment plants require a large area of land. Our technology, on the other hand, uses aerobic granules instead of muddy activated sludge. Their granular property enables them to settle much faster. Therefore, the process of decomposing pollutants in sewage and separating from the purified water is more efficient, and the treatment facility requires less space and energy. Typically, wastewater treatment using this method requires 50–75% less space and 40–60% less energy than conventional methods.
JFE Engineering has verified the effectiveness of this technology in the Philippines and now intends to introduce it to its sewage market and other Southeast Asian countries.
*Nereda® technology, owned by Royal Haskoning DHV (Netherlands). In 2020, it was recognized as the breakthrough technology of the decade in water treatment from a global perspective, and JFE Engineering signed an exclusive contract for the Philippines wastewater treatment market.
Contribution to the Circular Economy through JFE Engineering's Businesses
JFE Engineering offers a wide range of products and services to support infrastructure, including waste and renewable energy power generation plants, environmental plants that recycle food and plastics, water supply and sewage systems, and bridges. It is engaged in all parts of their lifecycles, from design and construction to operation, maintenance, and reconstruction.
In the business of constructing and operating waste-fueled power generation and various recycling plants, JFE Engineering seeks to thoroughly use waste as it implements various initiatives. Furthermore, in social infrastructure facilities, including these plants, the company focuses on maximizing their use through the integrated implementation of resource saving, long-life design, energy and labor-saving construction, efficient facility operations, effective maintenance, and renovation.
JFE Engineering engages in a circular economy and contributes to the realization of a sustainable society through efforts that leverage JFE Engineering's multidisciplinary businesses.
Further Expansion of the Global Supply Chain for the Steel Sheets Business
The key factor in initiatives for countering climate change, including those aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, is minimizing electricity loss and using generated electricity without loss. Motors found in places such as power plants, factories and homes are responsible for 40–50% of all electricity consumed globally. In Japan, the ratio is approximately 60%. Improving the efficiency of motors by 1% in Japan that would contribute to the equivalent of a 500,000 kW-class power generation plant in energy savings.
Technological advances are expected in electrical vehicle's engine motors, for which demand is expected to rise as we transition to a decarbonized society, and in various types of motors for cars, which could be as many as 50 to 100 motors per vehicle. We also expect improvements in efficiency and further reductions in size and weight.
In addition, in order to minimize energy loss while distributing electricity from source to factories and homes, continuous improvement is required in transformers, where the most loss of electricity occurs, to make them more efficient.
JFE Shoji has established a stable global supply chain that sources high-quality electrical steel sheets which are essential for improving the efficiency of motors and transformers from JFE Steel and other manufacturers and processes the products for meeting customer needs. Customers who require high-quality electrical steel sheets, such as motor manufacturers and transformer manufacturers, typically operate manufacturing facilities across the globe. To align itself to this trend, the company has been expanding its electrical steel sheets supply chain based in a global quad-polar organization that includes Japan, America, China, and ASEAN. By further expanding its supply chain and processing capabilities and collaborations with alliance companies, the company is striving for significant improvements in the distribution and processing of electrical steel sheets, as described in the Seventh Medium‐term Business Plan, and more thoroughly responding to customer needs.
Building a Supply Chain for Steel Materials and Processed Products for Offshore Wind Power Generation
Many countries are expanding their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, and the use of renewable energy including wind power is seen as a key factor.
In Japan, Act on Promoting the Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Power Generation Facilities was enacted in 2019, and an environment for commercializing offshore wind power generation is being established. The Japanese government has announced plans to increase the share of offshore wind power in its power supply mix from 0.7% in FY2019 to 1.7% in FY2030, and the number of offshore wind power construction projects is expected to increase. Other Asian countries are also announcing offshore wind power projects. The JFE Group intends to pioneer in the field of offshore wind power generation, in the business of constructing foundation structures for wind towers and in their O&M, by building a supply chain that takes full advantage of all its operating companies.
JFE Shoji focuses on building a supply chain for the foundation structures for wind power generation towers. In Taiwan, which is leading in the offshore wind power generation market, the company is collaborating with a local enterprise that manufactures the necessary equipment, and accumulating experience in the supply chain of steel materials for offshore wind power. Looking ahead, it will further expand its supply chain and respond to the demand for offshore wind power generation in the ocean settings surrounding Japan, and thus contribute to the expansion of renewable energy.
Expansion of Biomass Fuel Trading
In response to growing demand for biomass fuels by biomass power generation companies, JFE Shoji imports palm kernel shells to Japan from Malaysia and Indonesia. In addition, as the trend toward reducing CO2 emissions accelerates, demand for renewable energy is rising, especially for biomass power generation which is not affected by weather conditions. We will respond to this demand by exploring other types of biomass fuels, such as wood pellets, to ensure a stable supply of biomass fuels. Wood pellets are a biomass fuel that allows for the effective reuse of wood materials from thinning and pruning forests or waste materials from woodworking operations.
We will continue to supply fuel to biomass power generation companies, including JFE Engineering, and do our part in the JFE Group's overall contribution toward realizing an eco-friendly society.
Expansion of Scrap Trading Helps in the Development of a Recycling-oriented Society
JFE Shoji's recycling business for steel and aluminum scrap includes the export of steel scrap to Asian countries, where it is sold for both offshore and domestic trading. Although steel scrap exported from Japan is mainly transported by bulk carriers in general, timely shipments of small lots is now also possible due to the container loading system introduced by JFE Shoji, contributing to the development of recycling-oriented societies in Asia.