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BMW drives to greener steel in Salzgitter deal

German steelmaker Salzgitter plans to deliver low-CO2 steel to all of BMW’s European car-making plants by 2026.

The partners have also agreed a path for BMW Group to reduce its CO2 emissions throughout company’s supplier network. The carmaker says it is the first such manufacturer to make such an accord. BMW plans to incrementally raise the share of ‘green steel’ by up to 50% by 2030.

‘Salzgitter has put circularity at the heart of its new strategy,’ ceo Gunnar Groebler says. ‘We are convinced that closed-loop flows of material can only unleash their full potential with strong partners. We are delighted to have this circular economy cooperation in place, as well as the agreement to deliver green steel to BMW Group as our long-standing customer. We can now directly support them in achieving their climate objectives.’

In producing steel in a hydrogen-based process, Salzgitter plans to lower the CO2 emissions in steel production in stages to 5% of the original emissions volume.

Joachim Post, board member of BMW purchasing and supplier network called it an important step in substantially reducing CO2 emissions at source in the supplier network. ‘Our aim is to reduce vehicles’ lifecycle carbon footprint with a holistic approach. With steel, in particular, we are leading the way by sourcing low-carbon steel for our plants in Europe in the future.’

BMW currently uses about 500 000 tonnes of steel across its European plants annually. The proposal is for steel scrap to be returned to Salzgitter for recycling in a closed loop arrangement. This builds on an initial five-year-old agreement involving BMW’s Leipzig plant. When supplying steel coils, Salzgitter AG collects steel from the stamping areas for recycling.

Also from 2026, Salzgitter says it will be supplying other customers in the automotive, construction and energy sectors and manufacturers of industrial and household appliances with low-CO2 solutions. ‘Based on the established electrified steel route in the Peine mill, preparations for the transformation to green steel ready for process and serial production and tailored to the individual customer are already under way,’ it says in a news release.

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