Energy Efficiency

Green Steel from Sremska Mitrovica – responsible industry for sustainable future

Zoran Lajovic Metalfe Group

Photo: Metalfer

Published

June 24, 2024

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Published:

June 24, 2024

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The steel industry is known for being energy-intensive and having a significant impact on the environment. However, Serbian company Metalfer Group, whose production portfolio includes the so-called Metalfer® Green Steel, has demonstrated that steelmaking can be sustainable and responsible.

The management of the Metalfer Group, headquartered in Belgrade and with a production plant in Sremska Mitrovica, which annually sells around 400 thousand tons of reinforced steel, predominantly on the Serbian market but also in other markets like Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Austria, North Macedonia, Croatia, etc., says that sustainability is the heart of its business. And that’s not all – the company that directly employs 800 workers and whose production indirectly relies on up to 10 times more employees, in the last two years, has participated in the GDP of the Republic of Serbia with about 0.5 per cent.

Metalfer produce over 400 thousand tons of reinforcing steel sold
Metalfer Group annually sells over 400 thousand tons of reinforcing steel

Innovation in production of sustainable steel

According to Zoran Lojović, a member of the Supervisory Board of Metalfer Group, the Green Steel was designed by setting new standards in the metallurgical industry, respecting sustainability principles, development and application of innovations in the production process, use of state-of-the-art technologies and respect of circular economy principles. In short, we are witnessing the implementation of the Green Agenda and responsible business in action.

“For our steel to be called green steel, we have applied the most modern technology, various innovations and best practices in the production process itself, and the total value of investments in green steel will amount to over 30 million euros,” emphasizes Lojović and explains:

“The first thing is the use of renewable energy sources. All the electricity used in our processes comes from renewable energy sources, which we have contracted with the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, and we also produce electricity in our two solar power plants with a capacity of 3 MW, which is just the beginning. We are currently preparing project documentation for the construction of additional power plants near our factory, with a total power of 35 MW, and we will use all the energy for our production. Regarding efficient resource use, Metalfer Group applies the most modern technology in our field, with highly efficient processes and reduced energy consumption.”

Furthermore, Metalfer Group uses steel waste as its raw material in its production, so the finished product is obtained exclusively from recycling. The by-products of the production process are used as raw materials for other industries. “We turn the slag into Metalfer® aggregate for road filling, and the electric arc furnace dust is used to synthesize zinc concentrate or zinc oxide,” the company explains.

Reducing impact of steel production on environment

The steel industry is estimated to account for 11 per cent of all CO2 emissions, and on average, steel production emits between 1.4 and 1.85 tons of CO2 per ton of product. It is also a severe challenge to the company Metalfer, which, with the help of the most modern technology of smelting waste iron in an electric arc furnace and processing in a new rolling mill, managed to emit several times less CO2 and other harmful GHG’s, compared to the traditional technology of smelting iron oxide ore in a blast furnace.

Metalfer Steel Mill factory has the lowest CO2 emission in Europe, compared to the competition

According to the assessment of the renowned German certification company TÜV, the Metalfer Steel Mill factory has an EPD certificate with an emission of 0.25 tons of CO2 per ton of finished product, which is the lowest CO2 emission in Europe, compared to the competition that produces reinforcing steel.

Opportunities for further decarbonization that company is analyzing include CO2 capture and storage, as well as the transition to green and blue hydrogen.

“When it comes to wastewater treatment, we have managed to recycle and reuse process water using a closed water system,” the company explains.

Metalfer Steel Mill factory in Sremska Mitrovica
Metalfer Steel Mill factory in Sremska Mitrovica

Responsibility as imperative

“To be a responsible industry, to be responsible not only to our employees but also to our community and the future, Metalfer Group participates in numerous local initiatives and initiatives organized by the state,” Zoran Lojović said for Balkan Green Energy News portal.

He added that every employee undergoes waste management training. At the same time, the income from the sale of collected secondary raw materials, generated in production processes, is used to purchase smart benches for schoolyards as part of the My Eco Park company initiative. In addition, we regularly organize autumn tree planting in the facility’s yard.”

Lojović: Transparency in reporting is part of our business policy

“Transparency in reporting, including the reporting on the impact of our business on the environment, is part of our business policy, and regular reports of specialized accredited institutions we cooperate with confirm that everything is in accordance with applicable laws and regulations,” added Lojović and concluded that being a leader in the industry through sustainable business is no longer only a possibility, that it is a necessity for our future to be sustainable.

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