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Innovative projects aim to scale down Tenaris environmental footprint in Italy

Tenaris is leading the development of innovative projects in Italy that aim to elevate the environmental performance of its industrial plants in the country and contribute to the company’s global targets for decarbonization. Energy Senior Director for Tenaris in Italy, Marco Geneletti, recently joined a panel discussion on new models to advance the energy transition, organized by the Bocconi University of Milan, as part of the activities of the Green Economy Observatory, a research and analysis platform on green and circular economy trends. Geneletti spoke about company’s commitment to decarbonize its operations and incorporate green energy in its industrial processes. In the following Q&A, he shares more on initiatives on the horizon, and challenges, to transform and operate more sustainably.

What is the role of the industry in achieving carbon neutrality?

The decarbonization process is a global priority and requires the commitment of both institutional stakeholders and companies. Energy transition and circular economy are two pillars for directing business strategies and regional development policies towards carbon neutrality. For this reason, it is necessary to involve institutional players and private investors in all sectors, starting with energy and industry. Tenaris experts in Italy are studying and developing production solutions aimed at reducing facilities’ carbon footprint, as part of the company’s goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2018. Tenaris is containing the impact of energy consumption on the environment: on the one hand, energy saving and efficiency projects, and on the other initiatives identifying solutions and technologies allowing emissions reduction. Tenaris is following both paths, which are complementary, in addition to the cutting-edge approach to circular economy.

Tenaris in Italy has launched two innovative projects. The first is related to the use of green hydrogen. What is the status of this development?

The Dalmine Zero Emission project involves the replacement of natural gas with green hydrogen to power all Dalmine furnaces, starting with the steel shop one. This project involves a complete review of the engineering and gas distribution within the mill, starting with the burners, which will have to be ready to switch from 100% natural gas to 100% hydrogen, to assure production continuity notwithstanding on-site electrolyzers performance. Green hydrogen, once burnt, does not emit carbon dioxide, but to be produce it requires an important amount of water and additional renewable energy, and this is the real challenge The project was pre-notified by the Italian authorities, considered worthy to receive the necessary authorizations. We are now awaiting the official response from the European Commission, hopefully allowing State financial support. 

Tell us about the second project which is linked to the capture of carbon dioxide.

Yes, we are working on a second project about Carbon Capture and Usage, the capture and transport of a portion of the CO2 contained in the fumes of the Dalmine thermoelectric power plant, to an external off-taker close to Tenaris’s facility. It will reuse the carbon dioxide in its supply chain. We are still understanding the main figures, but again, from a financial point of view, a State-private partnership is expected to make investments sustainable and therefore be able to implement them.

These are large scale projects, are there other initiatives Tenaris is carrying out at the plant in Italy?

The Environment team is working on various initiatives that support the circular economy, a system designed to reuse waste materials in subsequent production cycles, with the aim of extending their life cycle and reducing the resulting waste. Our steel production process is based on an electric arc furnace that is powered with iron scrap from other supply chains and with overall emissions much lower than the steel production from other cycles. In addition, numerous by-products, both from the steel shop and from other downstream processes, are reused by other industries such as the construction industry as raw material, thus significantly reducing scraps and waste. For the future, we are also evaluating the use in our process of biomethane, a renewable energy source obtained from the anaerobic digestion process of agri-food waste (organic livestock waste, wet portion of organic waste, etc.), which is so far available exclusively for the transport sector.

To learn more about Tenaris’s decarbonization strategy, click here.

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