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New Zealand announces its biggest emissions reduction project in history

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New Zealand has announced its largest emissions reduction project in history, transitioning from coal to renewable electricity at the country’s major steel plant in a move that the government says is equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road.

The government will spend $140m on halving the coal used at Glenbrook steel plant to recycle scrap steel, replacing that generating power with an electric-powered furnace. The plant will contribute $160m to the project’s cost.

Currently, the steel company accounts for 2% of New Zealand’s total emissions, through intensive burning of coal to melt down iron-rich sands into steel products. The new project will install a $300m electric-powered arc furnace to melt down scrap steel instead. That electricity will be provided by renewable energy through New Zealand’s national grid, which is primarily powered by wind, hydro and geothermal energy.

Prime minister Chris Hipkins said the project “dwarfs anything we have done to date”.

“This size of this project demonstrates how serious the government is about reducing New Zealand’s…

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