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A framework for electricity generation opportunities in the South African integrated iron and steel industry : the ArcelorMittal Newcastle case
Electricity availability and the costs thereof in South Africa were traditionally considered an abundant and low cost commodity, but in recent years this situation has changed altogether. Industries are challenged by a strained national electricity grid and tariff increases more than four times the national inflation rate over the past two years, with further tariff increases expected in subsequent years; thus, exposing industries to significant business risks that may jeopardise the sustainability of industries. With the majority of the national electricity supply derived from coal, South Africa’s push to reduce carbon emissions exerts even more pressure on industries as electricity usage is inextricably linked to its carbon footprint. In addition, South Africa’s reliance on cogeneration from industries for its 2010 – 2030 electricity capacity plan further promotes industries to become more self-sufficient concerning electricity generation. In view of the above, there is a need in the South African integrated iron and steel industry for a framework that collectively addresses the governing factors pertaining to electricity generation in this industry, technical and economical quantification of available technologies and implementation of these technologies. This dissertation researches the current driving/governing and the remediating factors to become more self-sufficient in terms of electricity generation. A framework for electricity generation opportunities in the integrated iron and steel industry is developed from the literature study and the researcher’s own experience. The framework embodies four building blocks into a single and all-encompassing framework, which provides the necessary governing factors that quantify the potential need to pursue electricity generation/cogeneration, the technical and economical implications and, inevitably, the implementation requirements and guidelines. Validating the framework against case studies pertaining to ArcelorMittal Newcastle realised a correlation of between 84.6% to 97.6% concerning the technical parameters. In addition, the validation process also indicated that the framework is aligned with current practices applied by ArcelorMittal South Africa. The framework will enable South African integrated iron and steel industries to expand and adapt their own procedures to be specific to their operational requirements. The implementation of the framework should be tailored to address the specific needs concerning cogeneration in industry.
- Engineering