Climate Change Resilience – water

Wednesday 19th June 10:10 - 10:40


The steel industry plays a key role in the development and prosperity of any society. A salient feature of this industry is high-CAPEX intensity and assets which are designed for relatively long life. Like any other business, the industry needs to be constantly vigilant and protect itself against risks, be it investment related or natural forces. Once established, a steelmaking site doesn’t have much flexibility in relocating if there are extraordinary changes in local circumstances – it can only work towards better resilience.

This research analyses two important risks: sea-level rise and water scarcity to the steelmaking sites. These risks are attracting increasing interest in public debate and more importantly by investors who naturally like protecting their investments. The more robust an industry is, the more attractive it is for the investment. The insurance companies interestingly are both investors and insurers of steel industry assets. Their business model can probably be defined as ‘hope for the best but prepare for the worst’. This maxim is equally applicable for the steel industry as an advice in preparing itself against the two risks presented in the report.

The steelmaking sites likely to be affected by the two risks are significant in number and distributed around the world. In order to prepare for the risks or develop ‘climate-change resilience’, the development, deployment, and financing is largely a matter of partnering with local businesses and regulatory authorities. The sites need to have effective and robust ‘water stewardship’ which takes into account available resources and strategies for overcoming shortfalls by building reserves. Retreat away from the current location might not be viable for the costal sites which are at lower elevations. However, there can be a number of innovative solutions such as flood-proof structures, restoration of nature e.g. mangroves or even building sea-walls.


Rizwan Janjua

Head of technology

World Steel Association

Dr. Rizwan Janjua holds PhD in material sciences from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany. He joined the steel industry in 2002 and has been involved in process technology, energy efficiency, process yield and asset reliability. He is head of technology at the World Steel Association and is responsible for leading worldsteel’s activities in the field of technology, energy efficiency, and CO2 breakthrough.

He is secretary to the worldsteel Technology Committee (TECO), CO2 Breakthrough Programme and leads the ‘StepUp’ programme which is aimed at improvements in mill operations to efficiency levels commensurate with the steel industry’s top performers for emissions and energy intensity using existing proven installed technology and best practices.

He led the flagship project ‘Premature Wear of Copper Staves in Blast Furnaces’, investigating ways of extending the campaign-life of blast furnaces by minimising stave wear – the outcomes are highly acclaimed and frequently cited in publications.

He has represented the steel industry in technical discussions on energy and climate change at IEA, IRENA and OECD and reviewed several technical reports.


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