Sustainability in automotive production - Automotive Circle Conference

02.12.2022 | Initiative Automotive

On November 29 and 30, the Automotive Circle Conference on "Sustainability in Automotive Production 2022" took place in Bad Nauheim. Proven experts and key decision makers exchanged views on current developments, opportunities and challenges of the transformation towards a more sustainable automotive future.
With the general restructuring of the automotive industry towards zero-emission vehicles already taking place, the perspective of climate-neutral automotive production is now on the agenda.

This includes in particular:

  • Zero emissions in automotive production
  • Climate neutrality throughout the production chain and the entire life cycle of the vehicle, from the mining of raw materials to the recycling of the vehicle.
  • environmentally friendly procurement and recycling of all materials and components used.


Salzgitter Flachstahl was also represented with a presentation. Dr. Peter Juchmann, Head of the Direct Reduction Technology Development Division, presented Salzgitter AG's roadmap for climate-neutral steel production under the title "Circularity and SALCOS® - Sustainable Steel Products of Salzgitter". He then took questions from the auditorium as part of a panel discussion with other participating steel manufacturers.

SALCOS® (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) pursues the approach of direct carbon avoidance. In this process, the previous blast furnace route is being gradually replaced by a new direct reduction route based on natural gas and hydrogen. Implementation of the first SALCOS stage has begun and will supply up to 1.9 million tons of climate-friendly crude steel from 2026. The transformation of the integrated steel mill will take place in a total of three stages and is expected to save more than 95% of CO2 emissions at the Salzgitter site by 2033.

Dr. Juchmann also talked about the range of green steel products already available from Salzgitter Flachstahl. These first low-CO2 flat products are certified in accordance with the VERIsteel process of TÜV SÜD and are produced exclusively on a scrap basis via the electric steel mill in Peine and a further rolling of the slabs through to the surface-refined sheet in Salzgitter. Furthermore, reports were given from the ongoing commissioning of the new demonstration plant for H2-based direct reduction (µDRAL).

At the end of the presentation, Dr. Juchmann summarized by pointing out some important factors of a successful transformation. These include developing clear, transparent definitions and associated framework conditions for green steel and climate-friendly hydrogen and green lead markets. Linked to this is an accelerated expansion of renewable energies and hydrogen production, including the necessary infrastructure. Finally, the challenges of the transformation can only be mastered through strong partnerships with suppliers and customers in sustainably closed value chains.