Pulverised Coal Injection: the good, the bad, the ugly

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Operating in the shadow of other more prominent steel raw materials, pulverised coal injection (PCI) is a tried and true blast furnace technology, anchoring coke- and cost-reduction strategies for many global steel companies. Although PCI was first pioneered by Japan and Europe, we expect India to drive growth over the next 30 years. Based on the outlook for steel demand today, PCI suppliers can expect healthy interest from buyers with solid price support over the medium to long term. However, there is a dark side to PCI’s outlook. Competition will remain fierce amongst Australian and Russian producers, and spot prices will struggle to escape the dampening influence of the China market. New, lower quality, PCI could push marginal costs down and pressure existing premium suppliers. Potentially uglier for the long-term sentiment of PCI is increasing ESG pressures and green initiatives. Despite its low cost, replacement by other lower carbon injectant options is a growing risk.

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