03 Jul 2019, 14:05
Freja Eriksen

German steelmaker thyssenkrupp aims to be climate neutral by 2050

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s largest steelmaker thyssenkrupp has set itself the target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. “Thyssenkrupp aims to be climate neutral from 2050 onwards,” the company said in a press release. “As early as 2030 the group plans to cut emissions from production and outsourced energy by around 30 percent.” The company added its new climate strategy is based on the Paris Climate Agreement. “As an industrial company with operations around the globe we are in a particularly good position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable products and processes,” said CEO Guido Kerkhoff. “We see huge business potential for our various technologies for reducing emissions. This market is worth billions,” thyssenkrupp's chief technology officer Reinhold Achatz told Reuters.

After balking at the Energiewende for many years, German industry has made a notable shift to embracing the energy transition with a new fervour. Thyssenkrupp emitted around 24 million tonnes of CO2 in the fiscal year of 2017/2018 – almost three percent of Germany’s total emissions. The company’s new targets refer both to its own production, the energy it purchases and its products. In steel production, thyssenkrupp is working to convert steel mill emission gases into valuable chemicals in the so-called Carbon2Chem project. Already in January, thyssenkrupp announced that the company would phase out CO2-intensive coke-based steel production and replace it with a hydrogen-based process by 2050. The use of “green” hydrogen should make steel production CO2 neutral in the future, according to the press release. Both projects are funded by the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Thyssenkrupp rival Salzgitter has also developed a “technically feasible but not economically viable” concept to replace fossil fuels used in steelmaking with renewable hydrogen.

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