Voestalpine invests near Eur200 mil on sustainable, digital research projects

Voestalpine has budgeted around Eur196 million ($192 million) for research and development in the current business year, the Austrian steelmaker said Oct. 3.

“Research and development play a major role at voestalpine,” said Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of voestalpine AG. “By consistently investing in new products and processes, we are solidifying our position as a global player in demanding product segments. Another research focus is greentec steel.”

Greentec steel is voestalpine’s phased plan for green steel production on which part of the existing blast furnace route will be replaced by a hybrid electric steel route.

The first step will be reducing CO2 emissions by one third starting in 2027.

The company is studying how to produce high-quality steel with a different raw material mix as well as digital simulation methods and processes to prepare and support the transformation of steel production.

On the product side, voestalpine R&D is also examining the development of new digital and smart technologies such as “intelligent” cold-rolled steel strip, with conductor tracks for sensors integrated into a special high-quality coating layer.

Voestalpine is a key steel producer for flat products for the automotive and white goods industries as well as the aerospace and oil and gas industries.

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil moved down in Europe Sept. 30 due to low demand from both end-users and distributors. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur730/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 30, down Eur5/mt on the day.

— Annalisa Villa