US’ Nucor to supply Mercedes with low-embodied carbon steel

Nucor has signed an agreement with Mercedes-Benz to supply certified low-embodied carbon steel for vehicle models produced at the automaker’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama, plant, the US-based steelmaker said in a statement March 20.

Nucor will supply Mercedes with its Econiq-RE steel products, which are produced with 100% renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to less than half of that of blast furnace-based steel production for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions, it said. Econiq, launched in 2022 with General Motors as the first customer, is not a single product; it is a net-zero certification, which can be applied to any product from Nucor’s steel mills, according to the company’s website.

The agreement comes as Mercedes and other global automakers look to decarbonize supply chains, increasing demand for low-emissions steel.

The use of Nucor’s Econiq brand will reduce carbon emissions throughout Mercedes’ supply chain, according to Dan Needham, Nucor’s executive vice president for commercial. Associated volumes were not disclosed.

“Our Econiq brand is helping steel end-users meet their growth and sustainability goals, and we are proud that it is going to be a key piece of Mercedes-Benz’s path towards a net carbon-neutral new car fleet along the entire value chain,” Needham said.

Mercedes has set a goal to have its entire fleet of new vehicles be net carbon neutral across its entire value chain by 2039. To support this, it has signed agreements to source low-carbon steel with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Steel, Italy’s Arvedi and Sweden’s H2 Green Steel to supply its European operations.

In the US, Mercedes signed an agreement with Steel Dynamics Inc. in September for the supply of more than 50,000 st/year of CO2-reduced steel for its Tuscaloosa auto plant.

Amid growing demand for greener steel products, low-carbon premiums have emerged in Europe. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, last assessed Northwest European hot-rolled carbon-accounted coil at Eur805/mt ($874.3105/mt) ex-works Ruhr March 19, reflecting a premium of Eur125/mt over the Northwest European HRC price of Eur680/mt the same day.

The assessments reflect trade in HRC with carbon emissions certified by an internationally accepted, independent organization. The European HRC Carbon-Accounted Steel Premium reflects any differential achieved for the spot sale of hot-rolled steel on an ex-works basis, with total accounted carbon emissions of 2.1 mt of CO2, or less, for every metric ton of steel produced.

Author: Justine Coyne,