Anglo American has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Salzgitter Flachstahl to collaborate on the decarbonisation of the steelmaking industry by exploring ways to reduce carbon emissions. Salzgitter Flachstahl manufactures a range of high-quality steel products that are optimised for their particular application and is the largest steel subsidiary in the Salzgitter Group.
The two companies intend to conduct research into feed materials, including iron ore pellets and lump iron ores, suitable for use in direct reduction (DR) steelmaking based on natural gas and hydrogen, a significantly less carbon intensive production method than the conventionally used blast furnace (BF) process. The collaboration may also explore developing broader hydrogen technologies.
Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business, said:
“We have set ambitious targets to help address climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, including achieving carbon neutrality across Anglo American’s operations by 2040.
“While steel is a critical building block of our modern lives, and itself a critically needed material for the energy transition, the steel industry is a significant producer of carbon dioxide. That’s why we are committed to collaborating with industry-leading players like Salzgitter Flachstahl to develop strategies that capitalise on the premium quality properties of our products to help drive emissions reduction across the entire steelmaking sector.”
The MOU reinforces Anglo American’s existing commitments to the steelmaking industry, ensuring that we continue to provide high quality iron ore products that help drive efficiency and minimise emissions while new technologies are developed to achieve lower carbon steelmaking. It also builds on the long-standing relationship between the two companies and provides a platform from which to collaboratively explore opportunities for emissions abatement in the context of the sustainable energy transition.
The European steel industry has been developing new steelmaking technologies to reduce its carbon footprint, with Salzgitter working to produce steel as resource-efficiently as possible under its SALCOS® (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) project. The project is targeting a switch from the use of BF based on coal to wholly DR steelmaking.
Ulrich Grethe, Chairman of the Management Board of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH and member of the Group Management Board of Salzgitter AG said:
“With this project we continue to progress important milestones on the way to low CO2 steel production. In driving our SALCOS® technology concept forward, we aim to decarbonise steel production as efficiently and quickly as possible. We are delighted to be partnering with Anglo American, our long-standing major supplier of high-grade ores, for joint reflection and potential projects.”
DR steelmaking depends on high-quality iron ore feedstock, such as the materials produced by Anglo American’s mines in South Africa and Brazil, or further beneficiated feedstock from the same locations.
Through its platinum group metals market development activities, Anglo American has also been an early promoter of the development of the hydrogen economy, recognising hydrogen’s potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors such as steelmaking, transportation and industrial processing.