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Ovako’s endless recycling loop

At its Hofors steel mill, leading manufacturer of steel components Ovako produces the very cleanest steel using ingot casting in moulds. Remoulding recovers valuable alloying elements in an endless recycling loop.

Ovako uses scrap as the raw material in its steel mills in Sweden and Finland, two countries with relatively good access to renewable energy sources. This means that Ovako’s steel has a low carbon footprint, at approximately one-sixth of the global average for steel production. This is demonstrated by a lifecycle analysis conducted by RISE on behalf of Ovako.

From scraps to high quality steel

“Our goal is to communicate the carbon footprint of Ovako steel in certified declarations so that our customers. who often have their own ambitious climate goals, can weigh in this climate impact in their procurement decisions,” says Göran Nyström, EVP of marketing and technology at Ovako.

Despite the fact that Ovako’s production is based almost entirely on scrap, the company sells steel of an extremely high quality that in many cases facilitates energy and environmental savings in the user stage. One key factor in the high quality of their project is ingot casting in moulds at Hofors. These moulds are subject to enormous wear and tear, with approximately 700 pieces weighing five tonnes being scrapped annually.

Circular model decreases climate footprint

Thanks to the company’s circular business model, these moulds can be melted down and remoulded without any additional materials, thereby completely recovering the alloying elements in the moulds in an endless recycling loop. As the moulds are cast in Germany, this also offers further improvement potential with consideration for the transport distances and access to electricity with a low carbon footprint.