COVID-19 Impact on Green Steel in Chemicals and Materials Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the whole planet with its major impacts on the economy and businesses across the globe. The COVID-19 spread worldwide in unprecedented ways due to its high infectious and contagious nature and lack of availability of its vaccine. As a result, the greatest medical challenge in the 21st century is yet to be faced by physicians worldwide. Though the emergence of the virus can be traced back to Asia, many European countries along with the U.S. have been struck massively by the pandemic. The virus has spread across all regions ranging from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa up to South America. The COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) due to its increased spread across the globe. After the declaration of the pandemic, various countries announced the complete lockdown such as India, China, and other Asian countries to decrease its spread. According to the latest situation report by World Health Organization (WHO) stated 175 million cases of Corona have been reported globally and 4 million patients are dead due to the coronavirus. On a slightly positive note, a total of 158 million people have recovered and a total of 2 million vaccine doses have been administered as well.
Steel production necessitates the removal of oxygen from iron ore to generate pure iron metal. This is done in traditional steel-making using coal or natural gas in a CO2 emitting process. In the manufacture of green steel, hydrogen derived from renewable energy substitute’s fossil fuels.
COVID-19 has adversely affected the demand of the global green steel market, particularly, in the power and energy sector. Pandemic has also affected the import and export of steel products across all the regions which have resulted in the decline in the demand for green steel. The demand for green steel has declined approximately by 12%-14% in the COVID-19 period. The COVID-19 has unbiasedly affected all sectors due to which the mandate of the several products in the global as well as in the domestic market has affected.
The prevailing green steel demand conditions in the majority of developing nations demonstrate that steel consumption has declined in the pandemic situation. Several large industries that are engaged in the manufacturing of green steel have faced several challenges. However, the post- pandemic scenario has already accelerated both technological advancement and the green transition.
AFTERMATH OF COVID-19 AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO BOOST THE GLOBAL Green Steel MARKET
China, the world's largest steel producer, has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060, generating almost half of the world's supply. About 15% of the country's carbon emissions come from the steel industry.
Post COVID-19, developing economies, such as China is expected to move more rapidly towards normalization of economic activity for the different sectors. This will increase the demand for green steel products and will increases the import of green steel. With the stringent government regulations, particularly, in the field of infrastructural, the demand for green steel products such as hot-rolled sheets and cold-rolled sheets would subsequently increase. Automobile manufacturers are heavily investing funds in the market. With the increase in the demand for modern electric vehicles, the demand for green steel is set to rise in the global market.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER COVID-19 TO GAIN COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE
Pre-pandemic manufactures had financial stability; however, COVID-19 had forced the manufacturers into extreme slumps. The effects of the pandemic will largely affect small and medium businesses. Green steel is extensively used in the manufacturing of electric motors and components which are brought to application in electric appliances.
During the COVID-19, manufacturing of the heavy equipment has tumbled down which result in a fall in the demand for green steel in motors application. During the pandemic, several heavy electrical equipment manufacturers have shut down production for more than 6 months which have had a bad impact on the demand for the green steel market.
IMPACT ON PRICE
The steel industry is also playing a crucial role in the green steel market since tons of steel and other metals are used in the manufacturing of green steel. The pandemic of COVID-19 has also impacted the demand for steel products in all the regions. In the U.S., steel mills have to adjust their production activities to avoid rising inventories and declining prices of steel products which result in lower revenue generation. As the steel demand is declining, integrated steelmakers in U.S. steel manufacture have decided to idle blast furnaces and cut production of steel.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
During the COVID-19, manufacturing of the heavy green equipment has tumbled down which resulted in the declined demand for greens steel. Several types of components are used in the transformers which have different flux density that help to lower the wastage of the energy during transmission, however, the demand of the different size of transformers have collapsed. During the pandemic, several green equipment manufacturers have shut down production for an indefinite period, which has an adverse impact on the demand of green steel market
IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN
The power and energy industry is heavily relying on Supply Chain Management (SCM). Improvement in the supply chain has always been demanded by the manufacturers and end-users. The COVID-19, which led to the abrupt halt of the transportation sector, indirectly affected the supply chain for the green steel market. Manufacturers had to bear the storage cost as well as had to face the consequences for the late conveyances. The delivery of raw goods was adjourned or annulled, which resulted in the rise of the cost to the end-users. The import-export of the final product was also severely wedged, hindering the completion of major projects, resulting in increased costs.
Pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of life, including the global economy. With the significant downfalls in many sectors, a collaborative effort of government, industry players, and consumers can win the fight against COVID-19.
It continues to inflict the world with appalling economic and social dilemmas, capable enough to leave severe backlash on the economy for the next several years. The first wave had already inflicted severe blows to the population as well as the economy. The currently experiencing the second wave is expected to be more disastrous not only to the masses but also to CnM markets.
The COVID-19 crisis has created a pandemic situation widely, which affected the growth of the overall steel industry. The demand in the energy and power, building and construction, automotive activities have withered down globally. The nationwide lockdown across the globe for all the manufacturing units, construction activities, and others, resulted in lower demand for green steel products, which eventually, lead to a huge loss for manufactures. The manufacturers of green steel components and equipment had to abruptly halt the production which had an impact on the supply chain.
Growing demand for carbon-neutral industrial products is boosting the demand for green steel. The fluctuation in the price of steel has also impacted the manufacturing of green steel. Progressive demand for electricity and power as well as the launch of green vehicles will increase the demand for green steel in coming years.