2 March 2023
ArcelorMittal, the world’s 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) which focusses on developing low carbon-emissions steel for cars and trucks.
The MoU was signed on 2 March 2023 during a ceremony in 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 Usibor® 1500 (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® recycled and renewably produced steel 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 given its approval for member state funding for ArcelorMittal plans in Hamburg (Germany) and Gijón (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. With our body-in-white solutions, we ensure safe mobility, thanks in particular to the high strength of special steel grades. 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.”
J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff, CEO of KIRCHHOFF Automotive, speaking at the ceremony
"KIRCHHOFF Automotive is a widely respected company both here in Germany, and worldwide, so ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products is very pleased to have further strengthened our relationship with them through the signing of the MoU today. 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 Koeberle, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, speaking at the signing of the MoU in Iserlohn
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 also has an overall goal 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.”
About KIRCHHOFF Automotive
KIRCHHOFF Automotive offers body solutions that make tomorrow's mobility safe. Innovative and economical lightweight products ensure that people are optimally protected in the event of an accident. As a supplier to the automotive industry, KIRCHHOFF Automotive develops and produces complex metal and hybrid structures for body-in-white and chassis that are lightweight, economical and crash-proof. Because the vehicles of the future - from electric to autonomous - also need bodies that ensure the greatest possible safety for all those involved in an accident in the event of an emergency.
KIRCHHOFF Automotive has a presence across Europe, Asia and North America; with more than 8,000 employees and 27 production plants in 11 countries, KIRCHHOFF Automotive represents the largest division in the group. The family-owned company, which has existed since 1785, is part of today's KIRCHHOFF Group, which is made up of the Automotive, Ecotec, Mobility and WITTE Tools divisions.
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and primary steelmaking facilities in 16 countries. In 2021, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $76.6 billion and crude steel production of 69.1 million metric tonnes, while iron ore production reached 50.9 million metric tonnes.
Our purpose is to produce ever smarter steels that have a positive benefit for people and planet. Steels made using innovative processes which use less energy, emit significantly less carbon and reduce costs. Steels that are cleaner, stronger and reusable. Steels for electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure that will support societies as they transform through this century. With steel at our core, our inventive people and an entrepreneurial culture at heart, we will support the world in making that change. This is what we believe it takes to be the steel company of the future.
ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).
XCarb® is designed to bring together all of ArcelorMittal’s reduced, low and zero-carbon products and steelmaking activities. As part of the XCarb® brand ArcelorMittal has launched two innovative offers for our customers: XCarb® green steel certificates for products made via the Blast Furnace route and XCarb® renewably produced for products made via the Electric Arc Furnace route using scrap.