ArcelorMittal, a leading steel and mining company, and KIRCHHOFF Automotive, which develops and produces complex metal and hybrid structures for body-in-white and chassis, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) based on developing low carbon-emission steel for cars and trucks.
The MoU was signed today during a ceremony at KIRCHHOFF Automotive’s plant in Iserlohn, Germany, attended by J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff, CEO of KIRCHHOFF Automotive, and Yves Koeberlé, CEO, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products.
The agreement covers a number of different areas of development and steel solutions, but its principal focus is to strengthen the two companies’ collaboration on sustainability topics. This includes a project to develop and test the use of ArcelorMittal’s XCarb® recycled and renewably produced Usibor1500® (which is made with recycled steel and 100% renewable electricity) in the high-strength parts that KIRCHHOFF Automotive supplies to leading OEMs in Europe, Asia, and North America.
ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products began manufacturing XCarb® at its Sestao plant in Spain more than a year ago, marking the beginning of a new era for the production of flat steel by allowing customers to buy steel with a reduced CO2 impact. Taking the example of Usibor®1500 with XCarb® recycled and renewably produced substrate, on a lifecycle basis this product has a 70% lower CO2 footprint compared with the same product made via a conventional blast furnace production process.
The XCarb® product family will expand as the company invests in the decarbonisation of the steelmaking process across Europe, in line with its target to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030, and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The European Commission has recently approved member state funding for ArcelorMittal's plans in Hamburg (Germany) and Gijon (Spain). ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat products is awaiting approval for similar investments in Belgium, France and Germany.
“I am delighted that, together with the world's leading steel producer, ArcelorMittal, we will be taking a further and decisive step toward more sustainable mobility."Wolfgang Kirchoff, CEO KIRCHOFF Automotive
Speaking at the ceremony, Wolfgang Kirchhoff commented: “I am delighted that, together with the world's leading steel producer, ArcelorMittal, we will be taking a further and decisive step toward more sustainable mobility. The future use of low carbon-emissions steel will enable us to make production significantly more sustainable, as 90% of our carbon footprint is currently determined by the use of conventionally produced steel and aluminium. Based on the orders for upcoming vehicle generations from international car manufacturers, we see that the demand for such safe and sustainable body-in-white parts will increase strongly in the coming years”.
"The agreement will guide the work we are doing to expand the use of low carbon-emissions steel in complex, highly engineered vehicle parts. We will also work with them on other vital sustainability topics as a result of the MoU, specifically steel’s role in the circular economy”.Yves Koeberlé, CEO, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products.
Also speaking at the ceremony, ArcelorMittal's Yves Koeberlé said that KIRCHHOFF Automotive was a widely respected company. He said that ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products was pleased to have further strengthened its relationship with the company through the signing of the MoU. The agreement will guide the work we are doing to expand the use of low carbon-emissions steel in complex, highly engineered vehicle parts. We will also work with them on other vital sustainability topics as a result of the MoU, specifically steel’s role in the circular economy”.
In 2022, KIRCHHOFF Automotive began a process of determining the location of greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain (Scope 3), both upstream at suppliers and downstream at customers.
The company's overall goal is to establish a high level of sustainability in the automotive industry’s supply chains which is also reflected by the fact that KIRCHHOFF Automotive is one of the founding members of the Association “Responsible Supply Chain Initiative RSCI e. V.”
KIRCHHOFF Automotive has a presence across Europe, Asia and North America, with 27 plants in 11 countries.