German steelmakers band together on Green Steel

The elimination of emissions leading to clean steel production were the key themes at the annual ‘Zukunft Stahl’ conference In Germany this week. This was organised by business daily Handelsblatt and events specialist Euroforum in Düsseldorf and was attended by Kallanish.

The heads of thyssenkrupp Steel, Salzgitter and Saarland/Dillinger discussed the challenging role of the European Union as a global model now that it has decided on the ‘Green Deal’. This is where the steel industry can flex its muscles, said Tim Hartmann, joint ceo of Saarland mills Saarstahl and Dillinger. The quality of steel as a material cannot be denied, plus this is a field in which trendsetting innovations take place, he said. “We are helping politics to be credible,” Hartmann claimed, and stated, “in the Green Deal, it will show if we in the EU are a model region – or a climate failure.”

As Europe is losing share against production building up elsewhere, the problem, in Hartmann’s words, “… is that the overcapacities are made up of dirty steel that pushes away green steel.“ Along the same lines, Salzgitter ceo Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann said that the EU’s efforts for de-carbonisation must not lead to de-industrialisation.  

Premal Desai, ceo of thyssenkrupp Steel, pointed out that, unlike the coal industry, steel has an undisputed future. “There will be no ‘de-steelisation’,” he said. And, global ambitions for greener steel will require the active participation of European mills. “You need to hit many flies with one swat,” he said. “If Europe suffocates its own steel industry, we can hardly demand effective decarbonisation elsewhere.”