German steelmaker Salzgitter and mining group LKAB have formed a partnership to decarburize the steel industry with low-carbon iron ore pellets.
Within its SALCOS project, Salzgitter is working with partners from the steel industry and research institutes to achieve carbon-neutral steel production by 2033, which includes both direct iron reduction plants and electric arc furnaces .
Through the partnership with LKAB, the companies will explore the preconditions needed to achieve this goal and assess the potential development of iron ore based feedstock for the future steelmaking process.
LKAB produces about 80% of the iron ore mined in the EU and has begun converting its iron ore production to carbon-free sponge iron (HBI/DRI).
“For this change to materialize, you need not only incentives and a level playing field, but also an approach to the industrial value chain,” said Jan Moström, CEO of LKAB.
Salzgitter noted that the achievement of the target of steel production with virtually no CO2 emissions depends on "reasonable and suitable framework conditions for economic policy and significant government subsidies." The company has previously stated that it aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 95% by 2033.