Roland Junck has been appointed as the new global lead for the GFG Alliance’s CN30 programme, responsible for delivering the company’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The role sits alongside his existing duties as president, LIBERTY Steel Group Europe & UK and will co-ordinate the GFG Alliance's CN30 strategy and activities globally across R&D, technology, partnerships, commercialisation, supply chain, and public policy.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance said: “GFG Alliance’s CN30 programme is sector-leading and will transform our industrial businesses with advanced low carbon technologies. Its success will require strategic long-term thinking, a joined-up global approach and collaboration with stakeholders and partners. Roland’s vast operational experience and passion for our GREENSTEEL and GREENALUMINIUM strategies means he’s perfectly placed for this role as we move from planning to implementation to create a truly sustainable future for our industries and the communities we operate in.”

The focal point of the CN30 programme is GFG's GREENSTEEL strategy, which aims to transform steel making through increased use of steel recycling in electric arc furnaces (EAF), application of low carbon and renewable energy sources to power industrial processes and use of hydrogen instead of coking coal as a reducing agent for iron ore through Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plants to remove CO2 emissions from steel making.

In the nine months since GFG made its CN30 pledge, the group claims it has made significant progress.

Last month, GFG announced major GREENSTEEL investments in new DRI and EAF facilities at its Whyalla plant in Australia and its Galati plant in Romania where it signed MoUs with local partners and the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment to support delivery. These investments will replace aging industrial plant with modern low-carbon technologies that can quickly integrate green hydrogen into its processes as it becomes available at scale and economically viable.

Similar plans have been announced at GFG’s primary steel operations in Ostrava, Czech Republic, including the introduction of Europe’s first hybrid furnace that will allow the business to utilise higher volumes of local steel scrap to reduce the reliance on imported natural resources, which will lower CO2 emissions and enable greater flexibility by switching or blending blast furnace and EAF steel-making. GFG’s recycling facility in the UK plans to double GREENSTEEL production at its Rotherham EAF to produce GREENSTEEL construction products for domestic infrastructure, and is working with leading plant provider Danieli on future low-carbon production developments in the UK.

GFG’s SIMEC Energy portfolio of projects in solar energy, wind energy and energy from end-of-life waste continue to make progress towards completion despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. According to GFG, when complete these projects will provide the renewable and low-carbon energy sources needed to help reduce emissions from GFG’s industrial processes by replacing carbon intensive fuel sources such as coal and gas. The company says that SIMEC’s renewable power sources open up the opportunity for green hydrogen production for steel, underlying the strength in GFG’s model of combining industry and energy.