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German Transport Ministry commissions new climate-friendly plant supply system. ArcelorMittal and DB Cargo become strong partners on the road to green steel

German Transport Ministry commissions new climate-friendly plant supply system. ArcelorMittal and DB Cargo become strong partners on the road to green steel
photo: Deutsche Bahn/German Transport Ministry commissions new climate-friendly plant supply system. ArcelorMittal and DB Cargo become strong partners on the road to green steel
31 / 10 / 2022

On the road to CO₂-free steel production, DB Cargo AG has reached a milestone in green logistics with the world's leading steel and mining group ArcelorMittal. Thanks to a state-of-the-art, partially automated unloading facilities at the Eisenhüttenstadt (Brandenburg) steel plant, the environment is protected even better from particulate matter and emissions. At the same time, lighter wagons and special containers ensure even more efficient utilization of freight trains. More than 90 percent of the raw materials required can be delivered in this climate-friendly way. For eastern Germany's biggest blast furnace site, this means greater efficiency and environmental compatibility.

Together with the Federal Minister of Transport, Dr. Volker Wissing, and State Secretary Hendrik Fischer from the Brandenburg state government, Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, DB Board Member for Freight Transport, and Reiner Blaschek, CEO ArcelorMittal Germany, presented the new logistics system today.

Innovative freight cars, lightweight, removable containers, and large unloading terminals with extraction systems are changing the operating climate in Eisenhüttenstadt. Steel production feedstocks such as ore, coke, and limestone can be handled with virtually no dust generation. In the future, green sponge iron, a precursor for climate-neutral steel production, will also be transported in this way.

Automation of the unloading process is already reducing emissions. For modern rail logistics, DB Cargo has invested in multifunctional double wagons and special containers from Austrian manufacturer Innofreight, which also designed the unloading facility. The new equipment optimizes the loading volume and increases the payload per train by up to 20 percent. Fewer freight trains have to run for the same transport volume. A side effect is that the supply of raw materials is faster, and the shunting effort on site is reduced.

As the world's largest steel and mining group, ArcelorMittal has set itself the goal of leading the change toward a climate-neutral steel industry. Under the XCarb® initiative, which brings together all decarbonization activities, the Group is committed to drastically reducing its CO₂ emissions and saving more than 35 percent CO₂ across Europe by 2030. By 2050, all production worldwide is to be climate-neutral.

Plant supply and the supply chain are essential parts of the carbon footprint, especially for steel. ArcelorMittal is planning further investments in Eisenhüttenstadt: For example, two electric arc furnaces are to be built to produce crude steel based on recycled scrap and sponge iron produced using green hydrogen. The sponge iron will initially be transported by rail from a plant planned at ArcelorMittal in Bremen to the unloading facilities in Eisenhüttenstadt.

Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: "To achieve our emissions targets, the industry must organize its entire operations in a climate-neutral way. It is clear that without environmentally friendly transport and a strong rail network, there can be no climate-neutral industry. Producers of such energy-intensive basic materials as steel have a special role because they are needed for many everyday products. Companies must press ahead with their plans to convert to clean production processes despite the energy crisis. We are doing everything we can from the political side to support this path."

Hendrik Fischer, State Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Energy of the State of Brandenburg: "One of the most modern raw material logistics in Europe is located in Brandenburg. Investing in the new unloading station is an important step toward green steel production at the Eisenhüttenstadt site, for which sustainable raw material transport creates the basis. State-of-the-art steel production in Eisenhüttenstadt secures skilled and well-paid jobs, currently 2,700. The Eisenhüttenstadt steel site is on the way to becoming climate-neutral by 2045. It shows that state-of-the-art jobs and consistently ecologically oriented production and logistics are not opposites but mutually dependent."

Reiner Blaschek, CEO of ArcelorMittal Germany: "The new unloading facilities are tangible proof that these investments are money well spent for the future. They accelerate the transformation of our steelmaking to climate-neutral production and make us independent of fossil fuels in the long term. Our transformation plan will enable us to save more than 3.5 million metric tons of CO₂ yearly in Eisenhüttenstadt by 2030.

Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, DB Board Member for Freight Transport and Chairman of the Management Board of DB Cargo: "Freight belongs on the rails. The green transformation of the German and European economy is succeeding with environmentally friendly rail. It is the basis for green supply chains and for reducing CO₂ emissions in production. With its new logistics concept, DB Cargo is securing raw material supplies for one of Germany's largest steel sites until 2031 and accompanying ArcelorMittal on its way to climate-neutral steel production."


Source: Deutsche Bahn Press Releases


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