Inside a factory where steel is being made.

BlueScope posts $2.8b record, reaffirms commitment to reducing carbon profit emissions

Australia’s largest steelmaker BlueScope has signaled its intention to reinvest record profits into capital works including extensive carbon abatement programs.

BlueScope posted today a full-year profit after tax of $2.8 billion for last financial year — a 135 per cent increase on 2020-21 and the company’s best-ever profit result.

Managing director and chief executive Mark Vassella said the result reflected strong demand in Australia and the United States for building and construction products.

“We have seen building and construction continue to be strong, residential housing, industrial commercial have been strong,” Mr Vassella said.

“Some of the stimulus work that was put in as we went into the pandemic, the home builder programs for example, we have been the beneficiaries of that.”

Mr Vassella said the result would enable the company to continue to invest $1 billion in its Port Kembla blast furnace reline project to modernize its raw steelmaking technology.

The outlay will cover investment in decarbonisation via new technologies such as hydrogen electrolysers and work with miner Rio Tinto to produce new types of iron.

“We have things we can do every day to continue to improve our energy use, continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions but we’re also investing in some of the longer-term breakthrough technologies that aren’t yet technically or commercially viable,” he said.

Will work with government on emissions

As one of Australia’s top 20 carbon emitters, BlueScope would be impacted by a foreshadowed tightening of the federal government’s safeguard mechanism, which is a way to rein in national emissions and meet legislated targets.

“We are well prepared to deal with the safeguard mechanisms,” Mr Vassella said.