14 Jan 2022, 13:36
Sören Amelang

German steelmaker Salzgitter says it will stop using blast furnaces by mid-2030s

Reuters / Handelsblatt / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German steelmaker Salzgitter wants to shift its entire steel production from blast furnaces to low-emission technologies by the middle of the next decade, newswire Reuters reports in an article carried by Handelsblatt. "Then we will have reduced our CO2 emissions in steel production by 95 per cent, almost 8 million tonnes every year," CEO Gunnar Groebler told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The company estimates it will need to invest between three and four billion euros to finance the transition, and Groebler said he expects policy support.

Salzgitter is responsible for around one percent of Germany's total CO2 emissions. The steel industry is one of the world’s largest emitters because it uses coking coal to smelt iron ore. In this conventional production method, CO2 emissions are unavoidable. But the decarbonisation of the sector by replacing coking coal with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen is rapidly gathering speed around the world. The new German government has made industry decarbonisation a priority in its drive towards achieving the target of climate neutrality by 2045. It plans to help industry by using carbon contracts for difference (CCfDs), among other measures.

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