ArcelorMittal, Spain’s Gonvarri to work on reducing auto steel emissions

Steel group ArcelorMittal is to cooperate more closely with international metals processing group Gonvarri Industries on reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability for materials in the automotive sector.

A Memorandum of Understanding includes use of ArcelorMittal’s XCarb range of reduced carbon emissions and low-carbon steel products, which may drive demand for steel produced using adapted feedstocks and processes.

ArcelorMittal, which mainly produces flat steel via the blast furnace route while it has an electric arc furnace operation in Spain making coils with lower emissions, plans to expand use of direct-reduced iron in Europe and North America to lower emissions.

Under the MoU, the two companies will focus on “working on common sustainability projects … as well as identifying ways to strengthen the circular economy both within and beyond the manufacturing and purchase of steel products,” ArcelorMittal said.

Spain’s Gonvarri is a major customer of ArcelorMittal’s European Flat Products business unit, processing 5 million mt/year of steel with operations globally, including in Europe, China and South America. The MOU will look at strengthening both companies’ sustainability performance in the automotive market, it said.

The MOU creates an enhanced framework to advance the decarbonization of its processes, with benefits for customers, Gonvarri’s executive chairman Jon Riberas said in the statement.

Madrid-based Gonvarri in 2020 committed to reducing its Scope 1 CO2 emissions by 50% and its Scope 2 emissions to zero by 2030, as well as operating solely using renewable electricity and further committing to carbon neutrality by 2050, it said. The company is seeking to work with steel producers and other suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions in the company’s supply chain.

ArcelorMittal’s Europe business has a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030, and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

In 2021, ArcelorMittal launched XCarb, covering a range of lower emissions steel and low and zero-carbon initiatives, including green steel certificates and recycled and renewably produced steel made using a very high proportion of steel scrap and 100% renewable electricity.

Gonvarri supplies flat steel, aluminum and steel rods to major automotive producers, through service centers with specialist processing services, and manufactures high-precision carbon steel tubes.

— Hector Forster