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Climate-friendly supply chains for green steel production

Climate-friendly supply chains for green steel production

(Posted on 10/07/23)

Scrap is valuable as a sustainable raw material for steel production. Together, the steel and technology group voestalpine and Europe's largest freight operating company DB Cargo are increasingly focusing on a circular economy. The aim is the resource-friendly and energy-efficient production of high-grade steel. More important steps on the journey to environmentally friendly steel production are now being taken. These include shuttle services by rail between major automotive plants, the use of new lightweight freight cars, and the large-scale reuse of industrial scrap. The logistics partnership between DB Cargo, voestalpine and Logistik Service GmbH (LogServ) has been confirmed for another two years.

Pierre Timmermanns, Member of the Management Board for Sales at DB Cargo AG: "DB Cargo offers customer-focused solutions for the cycle between steelworks and the automotive industry. For voestalpine, we transport steel and scrap to various industrial centres in Western and Northern Europe on our European rail network quickly and with zero carbon emissions, thus supporting the move toward green steel production."

Wolfgang Mitterdorfer, Member of the voestalpine Stahl GmbH Management Board: "The steel industry is on the cusp of a major transformation process towards environmentally friendly production. Our goal is to substantially increase the proportion of recycled scrap. This will ramp up the steel to scrap to steel cycle (recycling)."

To transport more than one million metric tons of steel/steel scrap per year in an environmentally friendly way, DB Cargo is already offering innovative transportation concepts from the Austrian voestalpine site in Linz, which combine the speed of block trains with the flexibility of the single wagonload network. The freight trains run several times a day and are coordinated with the customers' production rhythm based on a just-in-time delivery and collection model. In addition to other shuttle services, prototypes of the innovative TransANT freight car model (an innovative lightweight freight car for scrap) which can transport a 15 percent higher cargo volume, will also be used in the future. By transporting goods by rail in combination with 100 percent renewable power on electrified routes in Germany and Austria (DBeco plus), voestalpine already saves the environment more than 42,500 metric tons of CO? every year. The common goal is to further reduce CO? emissions from transportation in the coming years.

The "Schwaben Shuttle" already transports steel from Linz to southwestern Germany and from there on to voestalpine's German and French end customers. Another example is the "Bayern Shuttle", for which DB Cargo, together with LogServ and CargoServ, the logistics subsidiaries of the Steel Division of voestalpine AG, was awarded the German Logistics Prize 2021. This jointly developed transport concept meets several customer requirements at once: Firstly, the supply of voestalpine with high-quality scrap for steel production. Secondly, the supply of high-tech steel for the automotive industry in a closed loop.

DB Cargo thus transports half a million metric tons of steel and scrap per year between voestalpine's plants and the automotive industry in southern Germany. Worth noting is the fact that, with a round trip, voestalpine in Linz can ship steel to three different locations every day and obtain scrap from three places of dispatch.

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