Thyssenkrupp demands policy-industry roundtable after German budget cutbacks

The recent court ruling against the German government’s budget towards climate protection measures will have repercussions on the steel industry’s ambitions, says thyssenkrupp Steel chief executive Bernhard Osburg.

Last week, the country’s highest court in Karlsruhe ruled that the government cannot use €60 billion ($66 billion) in credit facilities that were lined up to fund long-term energy transition projects. The decision especially hurts the climate and transition fund KTF. Policymakers must now find an alternative way to proceed with the transition of German industries towards emission-free manufacturing, Osburg demands. “If we fail to get a grip on this, Germany might as well forget about its climate targets,” tk Steel’s ceo is quoted as saying by national media.

Osburg made his statement on Monday, when the steelmaker lay the foundation for its encompassing transformation towards direct reduced iron-based steel production. This involves the construction of a modern hot strip mill and slab storage yard, and the conversion and new construction of two continuous casters and two new walking beam furnaces. The investment of €800 million aims to meet the changing needs of the market, meaning the demand for lower tolerances, higher strength and optimised surfaces, Kallanish hears from tk Steel.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, which was attended by North-Rhine Westphalia state’s economic affairs minister, Mona Neubaur, Osburg issued the call for a “transformation summit” at a political level. The issue is big and pressing enough to have led German Chancellor Olaf Scholz himself to call a meeting with representatives of the national and state governments, companies, and the unions, Osburg said.

Christian Koehl Germany