Transformation in the steel industry

by Dagmar Dieterle

Interview marketSTEEL with Frank Koch, CEO of Swiss Steel Holding AG


marketSTEEL: The Swiss Steel Group is regarded as an opinion leader and pacesetter for transformation within the steel industry. What exactly does this transformation look like for you and what role does the Swiss Steel Group play in it?

The transformation in the steel industry is of crucial importance for the future viability of our company and the entire industry. At the Swiss Steel Group, we are focussing on several key areas to drive this transformation forward. Firstly, our focus is on reducing our carbon footprint in a sustainable way. As the leading company in Europe on the electric arc furnace route, we have a significant technological advantage in the production of green steel, which we want to maintain and build on. In contrast to many others, you can buy green steel from us today, which has a CO2 footprint 83% lower than the world average for the steel industry. We are investing in innovative technologies and processes, particularly in scrap processing, in order to reduce our dependence on primary alloys.

We are also pushing ahead with the development of customised products that meet our customers' individual requirements and are environmentally friendly at the same time. In this way, we help our customers to significantly reduce their carbon footprint in Scope 3, which is a very effective lever. We are also strengthening our research and development activities in order to tap into new technologies and secure our competitiveness.

marketSTEEL: The Swiss Steel Group is in the middle of a restructuring programme in Germany, but also across the Group. What challenges are associated with this, particularly with regard to energy costs in Germany?

The restructuring in Germany is an essential part of our strategy to improve our competitiveness and enable long-term growth. Of course, there are also challenges to overcome, particularly with regard to energy costs. The German market is known for its high energy prices, which have a significant impact on our operating costs. We are therefore working hard to implement more efficient energy supply systems and utilise alternative energy sources to reduce our costs. At the same time, we are looking for ways to optimise our production processes and reduce our overall energy consumption.

marketSTEEL: What does the future of the Swiss Steel Group look like and what steps are you planning to take to shape this future?

The future of the Swiss Steel Group is characterised by innovative strength, sustainability and customer orientation. We will continue to consistently pursue our restructuring programme and focus even more strongly on our core activities. The needs of our customers will always be at the centre of everything we do. We will continue to drive forward the transformation of our company and allow our customers to actively participate in it. Following a positive capital increase this month, we will continue to step up our activities to reduce CO2 emissions, in particular by further developing our scrap recycling processes. This applies in particular to our site in Uginè, France.

We will also intensify our research and development efforts in order to develop innovative products that fulfil our customers' requirements, are environmentally friendly and provide us with unique performance characteristics. Overall, I am confident that with these measures we are well equipped to continue to be successful in the future and create sustainable added value for our customers, employees and shareholders.

marketSTEEL: Thank you very much for the interesting interview, Mr Koch!

Photos: Swiss Steel Holding AG

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