26 Jan 2021, 12:06
Edgar Meza

Industrialist Gupta aims to acquire Thyssen-Krupp's steel business and make it climate-friendly


Industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, the only bidder for German conglomerate Thyssen-Krupp's loss-making steel business, plans to convert the mills to produce green steel if he’s successful, reports German financial daily Handelsblatt. His chances of winning the bid are increasing, the newspaper writes. Gupta is looking to expand his relatively small steel manufacturer, Liberty Steel, by acquiring Thyssen-Krupp's steel division. Facing overcapacity and cheap imports from Asia, Thyssen-Krupp has been unable to attract other bidders since placing the division on the block nearly a year ago. For Gupta, the acquisition could be an opportunity to produce clean steel.

The steel industry is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide. For every tonne of the material produced, the smelters emit around 1.7 tonnes of CO2, Handelsblatt notes. Gupta aims to eliminate CO2 emissions by using hydrogen for steel production. Industry rivals like market leader Arcelor-Mittal, Salzgitter and even Thyssen-Krupp itself are turning to green hydrogen to make their plants climate-neutral. Gupta, however, wants to accelerate the transition, the newspaper adds. "We have no future otherwise, because customers need climate-neutral steel for their products," Gupta told Handelsblatt. Liberty aims to have converted its plants by 2030 at the latest - faster than competitors. The transition will fundamentally change the industry. Gupta compares the disruption to the force of digitalisation, which has reshaped established industries such as automotive manufacturing. "In that sense, I'm a disrupter," Gupta says. That is, a creative disruptor who sees his chance has come to upend an industry with its centuries-old traditions, Handelsblatt adds.

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