Decarbonization of the Iron and Steel Industry Needs a Comprehensive Roadmap

press release
The Executive Director of IESR, Fabby Tumiwa
The Executive Director of IESR, Fabby Tumiwa

Jakarta, March 20, 2024 – Indonesia’s iron and steel industry is experiencing consumption growth. Data from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs shows that in 2022, the average steel consumption was 15.62 million tons annually. This number exceeds the average steel production of around 12.46 million tons annually. Meanwhile, in terms of exports, the iron and steel industry experienced an increasing trend from USD 7.9 billion in 2019 to USD 28.5 billion in 2022.

Increased consumption of iron and steel on a national level directly impacts the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) report, the iron and steel industry alone contributes to 4.9% of total industrial emissions. This amounts to approximately 430 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2022, equivalent to 20-30 million tons per year. To promote greener and more sustainable business practices, the IESR recommends that the government and iron and steel industry players work together to reduce emissions.

The Executive Director of IESR, Fabby Tumiwa, stated it is crucial to address the transfer of iron and steel production process technology to decarbonize the iron and steel industry sector. Currently, 80% of iron and steel production in Indonesia is still produced using blast furnace technology, which relies heavily on coal and coke as fuel. This means that reducing emissions in Indonesia’s iron and steel industry will become increasingly challenging if the use of blast furnace technology continues to rise.

“Steel is a vital material required for various developmental purposes, including producing technologies that support the worldwide shift towards renewable energy. To generate 1 MW of renewable energy using solar panels and wind turbines, we need approximately 20-180 tons of steel. Therefore, it is essential to decarbonize the steel industry to ensure that the technology supply chain becomes low-carbon through increased energy efficiency. One way to achieve this is by switching to environmentally friendly technology, using renewable energy, and optimizing the use of recycled steel (scrap),” said Fabby Tumiwa in the Webinar Accelerating the Transformation of the Steel Industry in Indonesia and Southeast Asia organized by IESR and Agora Industry. 

The urgency to reduce carbon emissions in the iron and steel industry is influenced globally by low-emission product regulations, carbon limits for exports, and carbon trading. At the national level, Farid Wijaya, a Senior Analyst at IESR, stated that decarbonizing the iron and steel industry can help achieve Indonesia’s economic growth goals, protect the domestic supply chain and future economy, and increase export competitiveness for global markets that value environmentally friendly practices.

“To reduce carbon emissions in the industry, it is essential to establish regulations and standards for building a green industry ecosystem. This ecosystem should include the provision of green energy and low-carbon technology. To effectively achieve this goal, each industry and association needs to develop a clear roadmap for decarbonization. Currently, this roadmap only exists for a few sectors and has not yet been established as a regulation that can serve as a basis for action by industry players and associations,” Farid said. 

The IESR study provides recommendations to encourage the reduction of carbon emissions in Indonesia’s industrial sector. Firstly, the Ministry of Industry should complete the industrial decarbonization roadmap by the end of 2024 or sooner. Secondly, the study recommends strengthening the reporting and data collection process regarding implementing the Minister of Industry Regulation No.2/2019, which concerns the procedures for submitting industrial data through the National Industrial Information System (SIINAS). This will ensure the disclosure of industrial sustainability reports for transparency and access to information, mainly reporting on energy and raw material use and waste generated. Finally, the study suggests benchmarking green industry production processes and expanding the scope and limit values of green industry standards (SIH) from voluntary and referring to local best practices to mandatory, based on the emission reduction needs in 2060 or earlier.

Kajol, Southeast Asia Climate-Neutral Industry Program Manager, Agora Industri, said the transformation of the iron and steel industry requires three strategies, namely the use of direct and indirect renewable energy, resource efficiency and the implementation of a circular economy, and ending the carbon cycle with the use of Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCU/S) and biomass and bioenergy supplemented with CCS (BECCS).

Fausan Arif Darmadi, Infrastructure Development Analyst, Center for Green Industry, Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin), it is worth noting that the party has introduced a green industry standard (SIH) that covers various aspects such as raw materials, auxiliary materials, energy, production processes, products, business management, and waste management. Minister of Industry Regulation (Permenperin) No. 12 of 2023 also sets limits on energy use, water consumption, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for coated steel. This regulation aims to assist companies in adopting an efficient and eco-friendly production process.

“The commitment of the industrial sector is crucial in reducing carbon emissions. As a result, the Ministry of Industry has offered training to the steel industry on calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and determining the economic value of carbon. Meanwhile, a comprehensive guide to aid in calculating the economic value of carbon is currently in development,” said Fausan.

Industrial Decarbonization: Indonesia’s Strategy to Reduce Emissions in 5 Key Sectors

Jakarta, February 15, 2024 – Indonesia, as the largest economic power in Southeast Asia and one of the most populous countries in the world, has a major challenge in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the industrial sector. With a rapidly growing economy, mainly driven by a young workforce, abundant natural resources, and rapid technological advancements, measures to decarbonize industry are crucial in maintaining environmental balance and sustainable economic growth.

Deon Arinaldo, Program Manager of Energy Transformation, Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) explained, based on the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report, Indonesia’s current ranking is critically insufficient to limit the earth’s temperature below 1.5°Celsius. This position is down compared to 2022, which placed Indonesia in the highly insufficient ranking.

“In fact, Indonesia has set an Enhanced-Nationally Determined Contribution (ENDC) containing an increase in carbon emission reduction targets from 29% or 835 million tons of CO2 to 32% or 912 million tons of CO2 by 2030. Reflecting on the ENDC target and CAT status, Indonesia needs to push to strengthen its commitment to achieve net-zero emission (NZE) by 2060 or sooner,” said Deon during the launch of an IESR study in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), titled “Industry Decarbonization Roadmap for Indonesia: Opportunities and Challenges to Net-Zero Emissions”. 

Farid Wijaya, Senior Analyst, IESR, explained that the total contribution of GHG emissions from the industrial sector is expected to double from 2011 to 2022, reaching more than 400 million tons of CO2e. Around 60-70% of these emissions come from energy use in the industrial sector (both heat and electricity), mainly due to fossil fuel consumption.

“Based on the IETO 2024 study, GHG emissions from the industrial sector are expected to reach 430 MtCO2e in 2022, a 30% increase from the previous year. This increase in the share of energy combustion indicates the growth of industrial processes that require high heat energy. Unfortunately, the need for these processes causes an increase in coal consumption which contributes to emissions of 174 MtCO2e,” said Farid.

Farid said that industry contributes to economic growth, therefore, decarbonization efforts need to be made to accommodate this growth. This study takes five major industrial sectors that need to be focused on decarbonization on social, economic, and emission parameters, namely cement, iron and steel, textiles, pulp and paper, and ammonia.

“Industrial decarbonization efforts can actually be encouraged in Indonesia based on the existing regulatory framework. However, the government needs to be encouraged to include stronger and more binding regulations in the future, including support and incentives for industry and ensuring that producers, consumers and markets are protected by product controls that support industrial decarbonization,” Farid said. 

According to Farid, for industrial decarbonization to be achieved in Indonesia, many stakeholders need to work together, especially to build a green industrial ecosystem that supports the NZE concept. In addition, several general strategies need to be implemented to achieve industrial decarbonization. First, implementing an ISO 50001:2018 energy management system. Second, the utilization of alternative fuels, such as biomass and hydrogen. Third, the utilization of renewable energy such as solar power and hydropower.

“Fourth, maximize energy efficiency, materials, and process optimization and use highly efficient equipment. Fifth, regular monitoring and measurement of emission process control. Sixth, utilizing carbon emission capture and storage technology (CCS/CCUS) for the cement, iron & steel, and ammonia industries,” Farid said. 

Not only general strategies, Indonesia also needs to implement specific strategies based on the five major industries. For example, for the cement industry, it needs to replace clinker and use alternative raw materials, promote hydraulic cement standards with lower clinker factors, and distribute cement using trains as an alternative to trucks.


“Based on our survey results, the five major industries in the cement, iron and steel, textile, pulp and paper, and ammonia sectors have high motivation to decarbonize.  However, costs, competitive value, and regulatory obligations for businesses and consumers still face challenges and obstacles that must be resolved together,” Farid explained.

We Don’t Have a Choice, We Have to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Jakarta, 25 October 2023 – Industry is the main driver for economic growth and the largest sector to stimulate technology advancement. Industrial-scale economic activity has already transformed the global economy since its peak. Unfortunately, the tremendous economic growth must be paid for by the high greenhouse gas emissions transmitted. 

For a while, people are trying to figure out a way to minimize the GHG emission from the industrial process. This effort will be a meaningful step in the race to achieve net zero emission in this century as it is mandated by the Paris Agreement.

Deon Arinaldo, Energy Transformation Program Manager at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) during the Dissemination Workshop of Indonesia Industry Decarbonization Roadmap and Policy Recommendation on Wednesday 25th October 2023 said that IESR is currently looking into five big industries i.e cement, pulp & paper, steel, textile, and ammonia and develop a decarbonization roadmap. 

“We are in the beginning of decarbonizing our industry sector, and we need more collaboration between stakeholders as there are just so many stakeholders involved in the industry sector,” Deon said.

Farid Wijaya, senior analyst IESR later explained that Indonesia has initiated a green industry policy framework, yet it still needs more improvement to make it more robust and contextual. 

“The five industries that we are looking at are highly motivated to decarbonize their business process, but currently there are still challenges such as the cost and policy framework that still need to be improved,” explained Farid.

Realizing that the industrial process requires a vast amount of energy from electricity to decarbonize the industry sector, it is a must to also decarbonize the power sector. 

“(The availability) of policies that support industry to connect to renewable power or develop its own renewable electricity are very important,” said Hongyou Lu, Energy and Environment Technology Researcher, LBNL.

Lu added that industry decarbonization is inevitable but multifaceted and it has potential to grow the local economy, reduce air pollution and make the commodity more competitive in the global trade.

Stephane de la Rue du Can, Energy-Environmental Policy Research Scientist, LBNL then added that there should be a complete package of policy reform to decarbonize the industry sector, including (1) industry GHG reduction targets and planning, (2) innovation, (3) electrification and fuel switching, (4) energy efficiency, (5) material efficiency and circular economy, and (6) workforce and local communities.

Endra Dedy Tamtama, Energy Conservation Monitoring Coordinator, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources shares that currently energy efficiency practices done by some industries are those either no cost or low cost. Things related to retrofitting utilities that require significant capital cost are not yet done.

“Because currently there is no fiscal incentive is given to industries once uses an energy efficient infrastructure, any changes that require significant cost, although it will save more energy, has not fully tapped,” Endra said.  

Muhammad Akhsin Muflikhun, Technology Expert of PSE UGM, emphasized the importance of technology readiness to support industry decarbonization such as the utilization of hydrogen.

“Hydrogen has been our focus for energy storage technology. We try to compare hydrogen storage vs. batteries, so far there is still a huge gap in energy efficiency once it is stored in a battery compared to once it is kept in a hydrogen storage system,” he said. 

Sri Gadis Pari Bekti, Functional Intermediate Expert, Ministry of Industry agrees that technology will be a game changer during the industrial decarbonization. The emerging technology such as CCS and CCUS, and hydrogen are expected to be able to fulfill energy needs in the industry.

“As part of our support to industry, we facilitate certification for industry. To some extent, the government can help the capacity building and certification process,” Bekti said.

In order to smoothen the industry decarbonization the availability of green financing is crucial.

PT PLN, as the main energy supplier in Indonesia through their Bioenergy manager, Yudas Agung Santoso, said that currently they are still mapping the energy needs especially from industry as in the near future some big industries such as nickel smelter will come.

“For industry (and those who need) currently, we have a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) program, in which we dedicate a renewable power generator to supply those who subscribe the certificate so they can get green electricity,” he said.

Nan Zhou, Energy Environmental Policy Senior Scientist, LBNL, in her concluding remark highlighted the importance for Indonesia to take the lesson learnt from other countries who start decarbonizing its industry earlier. 

“We don’t have a choice; we have to achieve carbon neutrality. So, we must do any possible action to make it happen,” Zhou said.

Driving Low-Carbon Industry Through an Industrial Decarbonization Roadmad

Jakarta, October 25, 2023 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have released a roadmap and policy recommendations for industrial decarbonization to achieve net zero carbon emissions (NZE). This report focuses on five industrial sectors: cement, iron and steel, pulp and paper, ammonia, and textiles, which are expected to experience a significant increase in GHG emissions if no decarbonization measures are taken. According to the Ministry of Industry, from 2015-2022, the industrial sector contributed 8-20% of national emissions. Referring to IESR’s modeling, total industrial GHG emissions are predicted to continue to increase by 3-4 times by 2060 without any intervention (Business as usual, BaU).

Deon Arinaldo, Energy Transformation Program Manager at IESR, stated that implementing decarbonization in the industrial sector, as the main driver of the Indonesian economy, is a precondition to ensure high economic growth and to make Indonesia an advanced yet low-emission country. Industries with low-carbon products will become the most competitive industries.

“Indonesia can implement the pillars of industrial decarbonization, which include improving energy efficiency, electrifying energy needs, transitioning to low-carbon fuels such as renewable energy, and enhancing material usage efficiency. Each industry is unique, so it’s necessary to anticipate the specific situations and contexts when developing the roadmap and supporting regulations,” Deon said in his address at the Dissemination Workshop of Indonesia Industry Decarbonization Roadmap and Policy Recommendations organized by IESR in collaboration with LBNL and supported by the ClimateWorks Foundation.

IESR and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) view that decarbonizing the industrial sector can be achieved before 2060. According to IESR’s data, among the total of 17 business entities analyzed in these five sectors, each company has set different proportions of decarbonization targets, although only the pulp and paper industry has specific decarbonization targets.

“Large-capacity industries such as cement, iron and steel, textiles, pulp and paper, and ammonia have a strong motivation for decarbonization. There are still challenges regarding high energy consumption, dependence on fossil fuels, waste management, and GHG emissions in processes and value chains, as well as the high costs and economic benefits of decarbonization efforts. Furthermore, the existing regulations have not improved much for the industry, advanced industry, and consumers to drive industrial decarbonization,” explained Farid Wijaya, Senior Analyst at IESR.

Hongyou Lu, Environmental/Energy Technology Researcher at LBNL, emphasized that the Indonesian government needs to develop different national strategies for each type of industrial sector. For example, the iron and steel industry can focus on implementing electric arc furnaces as a process electrification step for a short-term strategy, along with energy and material efficiency. Meanwhile, in the cement industry, decarbonization strategies could include increasing the use of substitute materials for clinker materials (supplementary cementitious materials), implementing material efficiency and energy efficiency measures (short term), and switching to low-emission fuel sources (medium-long term). Furthermore, the government should also create a national strategy for green energy production, such as hydrogen and ammonia, cross-sector technologies like heat pump applications, and Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) for residual emissions that cannot be decarbonized.

“To implement these various industrial sector decarbonization strategies, the Indonesian government needs to coordinate planning with various stakeholders in the development of low-carbon infrastructure, such as pipeline networks, storage facilities, and electricity transmission and distribution systems, enabling industries to access renewable energy,” explained Hongyou.

Furthermore, Hongyou Lu added that industrial decarbonization is unavoidable and involves many aspects. Decarbonizing the industry has the potential to develop new industries, boost the local economy, reduce air pollution, and enhance Indonesia’s competitiveness in the international market. This is necessary to ensure that Indonesian industrial products can still comply with stricter environmental regulations for imports and effective carbon pricing mechanisms in some export destination countries, such as the European Union.