Dr. Joseph Poveromo is the author of the Future of Metallurgical Coke Markets to 2017: global market forecasts, which will be published by Smithers Apex in June 2012. Dr. Poveromo has been in the ironmaking and steel production industry for the past 40 years, and consulting for a number of other steel, natural resource, technology provider and consultancy companies on a global basis since 1993. The newest edition of this popular market report will provide a detailed insight into the global supply chain, steel production, coking coal consumption and end-use markets around the globe.
Please briefly describe your background in the coke and steel sector.
I have been involved in ironmaking raw materials and iron & steel production for nearly 40 years; the first part of my career was spent with Bethlehem Steel; initially in ironmaking and raw materials research and development and then mainly as an internal consultant to other corporate departments (Purchasing, Strategic Planning, Accounting) in the areas of process economics and capital project planning. The second half of my career has been spent as a consultant with clients in steel production, industrial gases, ironmaking raw materials (iron ore, coal, coke, bauxite), engineering companies and steel industry consultancies.
What do you see as the greatest challenge(s) to long term coke production?
Long term coke production will be driven by the need to support blast based hot metal production. The challenges will vary from region to region but we could list the following: capital availability, environmental permitting (including CO2 issues) and coking coal pricing.
What are your thoughts on the impact to met coal prices due to Chinese steel production, new met coal mines in Mongolia, Africa, and Columbia?
Increased Chinese steel production (without matching increases in Chinese coking coal) will surely increase coking coal prices with increased coal production in Mongolia, Colombia and Africa acting to moderate coal prices.
Do you foresee any more consolidation in the steel industry?
More consolidation should occur but anti trust considerations may moderate this in the developed world while government influence over the steel industries in many other countries may also slow consolidation as governments act to protect so called "strategic industries".
Are you seeing or anticipating any impact due to carbon taxes?
The lack of a global consensus on the CO2 issue will continue to delay the impact of carbon taxes.
Will the Indian market advance as quickly as projected?
Nothing seems to happen quickly in India!
Do you think the rapid expansion of shale gas production will have an impact on met coal prices?
In those countries with access to shale gas production the increased availability of gas will act to drive down coal and coke prices; however the strong export coal market may alleviate most of this impact especially in the USA and Canada.
Will environmental regulations continue to become more stringent or have we seen the worst?
We can only hope for a global convergence of environmental regulation where lax countries such as China will increase their environmental awareness while the developed world will hopefully approach environmental issues in a more balanced and practical manner.
With SE Asia still experiencing rapid growth, and the recent uptick in the US economy, are we headed toward a "mini-boom"?
I am cautiously optimistic about this!
About Joseph Poveromo
Joseph J. Poveromo received his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1974 at the Center for Process Metallurgy, State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNYAB). Earlier he had received a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Poly.
He then joined Bethlehem Steel's Homer Research Laboratories where he advanced to the position of Research Consultant. In 1993 he established his consultancy, Raw Materials & Ironmaking. From 1993 through 2008 his principal client was the Quebec Cartier Mining Company (now ArcelorMittal Mines Canada) for whom he served as Director - Technology, International. Currently, his principal clients are CRU, Anglo American, Outotec, Magnetation, Essar and S & B Industrial Minerals. He also consults for a number of other steel, natural resource, technology provider and consultancy companies on a global basis.
Dr. Poveromo is a Distinguished Member of the Iron and Steel Society (now AIST) of AIME. He has received a number of Iron & Steel Society Awards including the T. L. Joseph Award in 1998 for his long-standing contributions to ironmaking technology. He is also a Special Member of the IIMA (International Iron Metallics Association).