30 YEARS OF CONSISTENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF A PIONEER IN THE ALLOY-COATED STEEL INDUSTRY IN VIETNAM

30 YEARS OF CONSISTENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF A PIONEER IN THE ALLOY-COATED STEEL INDUSTRY IN VIETNAM

Leading the "green" trend of the construction industry, NS BlueScope Vietnam has created a "phenomenon" thanks to a completely different sustainable development strategy over the past 30 years.

One of the industries that is assessed to face challenges in the sustainability roadmap is the steel manufacturing industry. It is estimated that upstream, where mills turn ore into steel, each ton of steel produced emits about 2 tons of CO2. In midstream, where the majority of hot-dip pre-painted and cold-rolled steel mills are concentrated, the production of each ton of steel will generate 100-300kg of CO2. The lowest emissionfalls to downstream, where mills buy finished coils for processing, they generate 20-50kg of CO2 emissions per ton of finished steel. It is these figures that make the steel industry one of the industries that have the most environmental footprint.

Operating in all 3 fields in the international market and in the Vietnam’s midstream, since the first days it set foot in Vietnamese market when domestic suppliers were still unfamiliar with sustainable materials, the market had not yet popularized with green building standards, NS BlueScope Vietnam did create a "phenomenon" when positioning itself as a sustainable alloy-coated steel manufacturer – an orientation not all dares to try. Inheriting the Group's heritage accumulated over 100 years, the company was determined to gradually change Vietnam's alloy-coated steel market with higher and more sustainable standards.

Join us in a talk with Mr. Dang Thanh Hung - Vice President of NS BlueScope Vietnam - who participated in BlueScope's 30-year journey of sustainability in Vietnam to better understand this "strange" journey.

PROMOTING THE TREND OF "GREEN" MATERIALS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

- In the 90s, facing a market that was not yet familiar with "green standards", what did BlueScope do to place the pioneering bricks in its sustainable development roadmap?

- Today, we talk a lot about green building certificates such as Lotus - a certification system for the Vietnamese construction market, Green Mark – a Singapore's certification system, EDGE - a certification system focusing on the criteria of energy, water saving and energy content of materials..., and finally LEED - a comprehensive green building certification system developed in the US to certify global projects. In particular, LEED is the system chosen by most investors, but just over 10 years ago, LEED was a term that was almost not heard with the domestic construction industry, especially in the industrial construction sector.

 

 

LEED has become a popular certificate and the first choice when investors deploy industrial projects.

At that time, in order to introduce the trend of green construction and LEED certification to investors, we continuously cooperated with industry experts to organize a series of seminars across major cities and provinces. We sat down with the investors to analyze what they would gain by implementing LEED. This persuasion process takes a lot of patience but we never thought of stopping before any difficulties because we understand, LEED is a trend and if we do not prepare carefully, we will be left behind when macro policy changes. Only a few years later, LEED has become a popular certificate and the first choice when investors deploy industrial projects.

In addition to our efforts to build "green demand", we also pioneered in the steel industry to launch Thermatech® Technology – among the few coating technology at that time that could help investors earn LEED certificate points thanks to solar reflectivity of heat radiation, helping to reduce the roof surface temperature by 6 degrees Celsius, thereby saving energy consumption.

What happened later proved we were on the right track. Just recently, at COP27, Vietnam committed to pioneering in energy transformation along with green and digital transformation. Earlier, at COP26, we committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

At NS BlueScope Vietnam, we set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2018, in line with the Group's global plan and the government's carbon neutral plan.

We are also a pioneer and leading manufacturer of alloy-coated steel in Vietnam which has been granted the “Green Label” certificate by the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC). And I would like to share that in the second half of 2023, we expect to be certified as a responsible steel producer ResponsibleSteel™. This is not only a special mark for our 30 years of constantly leading the alloy-coated steel industry to develop in line with sustainable standards, but also a “certificate” for our sustainable development journey in Vietnam.

PIONEER IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE ALLOY-COATED SOLUTIONS AND MATERIALS

- Besides spreading the green construction trend, does BlueScope have any "secret weapon" to help businesses easily achieve green construction and sustainable development?

- This is an interesting question for an enterprise that considers R&D as backbone of operations like NS BlueScope Vietnam. We all know the two most common materials in the construction industry are steel and cement, but these are actually the two biggest global CO2 emitters in 2021. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization estimates these two materials account for 14-16% of global CO2 emissions. Therefore, the construction industry is also always trying to develop safer and more environmentally friendly alternative materials. In particular, alloy-coated steel can be considered a sustainable material because of its high reusability. And one thing we have always pursued is to constantly improve the material lifespan, thereby promoting industry sustainability.

Previously, in the 1990s, the market was only popular with one-phase (zinc steel) which was easy to corrode, rust and have a short life. That's why, in 2005, we built a factory and for the first time introduced the two-phase aluminum-zinc coated technology (galvalume steel) into Vietnam, helping to increase the life of the project. However, with the mindset of further breaking the galvanizing technology, aiming at works of the most durability, solving the rust problems that still exist..., especially in areas of polluted environment, close to the sea, easy to corrode, in 2019, we once again introduced the breakthrough 4-phase alloy-coated ActivateTM technology, with exclusive know-how from BlueScope, contributing to the development of alloy-coated steel industry. Many large projects such as Vinfast automobile factory, Thaco, BW Hai Phong, Long Son oil refinery, Heineken brewery, or Goertek electronics factory... have applied our 4-phase alloy-coated steel.

In addition, under the harsh tropical weather of Vietnam, which often causes rusting, wind uplift, reducing building lifespan, we have developed and introduced to the market LYSAGHT® SMARTSEAM™ the new generation 360o seaming system that is completely screw-free, an absolute zero leaking solution to help investors operate production and business activities with peace of mind. The product is applied with 360o seaming technology to help the alloy-coated steel edge be locked and sealed 100% for comprehensive anti-leakage, capable of withstanding wind uplift certified by FM APPROVALS (US), reducing the risk of roof uplifted. Particularly, when the temperature changes, the moveable seam belt with seam hook allows the roofing system to expand independently of the underlying frame, helping the entire roof system to slide 100%, preventing deformation and leakage.

Most recently, in 2022, we launched a pioneering alloyed-coated steel product line for sandwich panel market dedicated to clean room, cool room and architectural wall applications, helping to solve the requirements of unburnt materials, quick construction and high durability. This new product line solves all the problems such as: cool rooms are used for seafood processing and storage areas, so they are often susceptible to corrosion, clean rooms need conditions to be clean of bacteria for assembly, research of electronic components or architectural walls often have unique requirements about profile and color...

Otsuka Techno Vietnam pharmaceutical factory uses COLORBOND® For Panel – Clean room of BlueScope for sandwich panel application

It can be said that our 30-year journey of sustainability in Vietnam is a journey marked by innovation and creativity. We are constantly creating new technologies for the sustainable development of the industry.

 

Thank you very much!