Taking circularity to new heights

Recycled steel in the scrap yard of Outokumpu’s mill in Tornio, Finland, which is the largest material recycling center in Europe.
Recycled steel in the scrap yard of Outokumpu’s mill in Tornio, Finland, which is the largest material recycling center in Europe.

Outokumpu and CRONIMET have expanded their partnership to take circularity to new heights – securing access to high-quality scrap near Outokumpu’s sites in Europe.

Text & images by Outokumpu

Outokumpu, a leading producer of sustainable stainless steel, and CRONIMET, a specialist in recycled stainless steel, are expanding their collaboration to further secure the sourcing and retain the supply of high-quality scrap within Northeastern Europe. Outokumpu has signed an agreement to acquire a 10% minority interest in CRONIMET North-East GmbH, the holding company for CRONIMET’s Northeastern business in Europe, which holds subsidiaries near Outokumpu’s European production sites. The continuous supply of high-quality stainless steel scrap is an important factor in maintaining and increasing the company’s industry-highest rate of recycled content of 94% and continuing to achieve the company’s ambitious climate targets.

Reducing CO2 footprint of scrap

“Partnering around our value chain and strengthening our sustainability leadership are key priorities in our strategy. Outokumpu has the lowest carbon footprint in the stainless steel industry, 70% smaller than the global average*, which is a competitive advantage for us. The better the quality and the closer the scrap is sourced, the smaller the carbon footprint of our production, allowing Outokumpu to decrease the supply chain emissions further. We are excited about this partnership with CRONIMET, as we have a shared ambition on regional development – to accelerate the circular economy in the Northeastern European market area. Together, we can further strengthen our scrap supply and drive a green transition in the industry”, says Marc-Simon Schaar, Chief Procurement Officer at Outokumpu.
Outokumpu and CRONIMET have also agreed to cooperate in areas such as joint innovation and research, with the goal of improving technologies to further reduce CO2 emissions, lower costs through better predictability and drive waste reduction within the supply chain. Jointly with better scrap quality, this will enable an improvement in Outokumpu’s process efficiency.
“This partnership is another step to achieve the sustainable development goals: low CO2 footprint for stainless production with locally sourced stainless scrap,” says Jürgen Pilarsky, CEO of CRONIMET Holding GmbH.

Strategic partners

As a shareholder, Outokumpu acts as a strategic partner in CRONIMET’s Northeastern business, thus, expanding the successful existing collaboration, while CRONIMET retains full operational control of the companies involved. Outokumpu does not see vertical integration into the supply chain of stainless steel scrap as part of its raw material strategy but considers cooperation and partnerships as the way forward.
The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals by the competition authorities. The transaction will be carried out as a share sale.

Reference

* Global average CO2 emissions (2023): 7 kilos of CO2 e per kg of stainless steel (based on data provided by CRU and worldstainless).

About this Tech Article

This tech article appeared in Stainless Steel World, December 2023 magazine. To read many more articles like these on an (almost) monthly basis, subscribe to our magazine (available in print and digital format) – SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR DIGITAL VERSION ARE NOW FREE.

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