Manitou commits to fossil-free steel

News Story
- 18 Apr 2024 ( #1175 ) - Ancenis, France
2 min read
SSAB executive vice president and head of Europe Olavi Huhtala with Manitou vice president of sourcing Maurizio Achilli
SSAB executive vice president and head of Europe Olavi Huhtala with Manitou vice president of sourcing Maurizio Achilli

French materials handling manufacturer Manitou will begin using fossil-free steel from 2026 as it continues its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

Manitou signed a letter of intent with Nordic steelmaker SSAB to begin sourcing its SSAB Fossil-free and SSAB Zero steel.

Instead of using coal to remove the oxygen from iron, SSAB’s fossil free steel uses hydrogen gas, produced with fossil-free electricity, to make sponge iron for steel production.

The carbon dioxide emissions are eliminated and instead the by-product is water.

SSAB Zero, meanwhile, is steel made from recycled scrap using fossil-free energy sources, resulting in virtually zero emissions from the steelmaking process.

Manitou says the fossil-free steel will allow it to manufacture a new generation of sustainable products, including telehandlers, forklifts and aerial work platforms, with radically reduced CO2 footprints.

 “Our goal is to revolutionise the way steel is produced and pave the way for a greener future,” says Olavi Huhtala, executive vice president and head of SSAB Europe.

Maurizio Achilli, Manitou’s vice president of sourcing, adds: “We work every day closely with our suppliers to reduce our indirect carbon emissions and offer more sustainable products to our customers. This collaboration with SSAB is very important for us as steel represents the main raw material for our products.”

Manitou Group has set a target of reducing its direct and indirect carbon emissions by 46.3% and its CO2 emissions for every hour of use of the machines by 33.7% by 2030.

Deliveries of the fossil-free steel to Manitou are expected to begin in 2026 and ramp up as SSAB’s fossil-free steel production capacity increases.

The world's first fossil-free steel was produced in 2021 using technology known as Hybrit, a joint initiative between SSAB, iron ore producer LKAB and energy company Vattenfall.

In October that year, the Volvo Group unveiled the first vehicle ever made with fossil-free steel with the introduction of an autonomous electric dumper, which contains more than 3 T of SSAB's fossil-free steel delivered.

In September 2022 at a trade fair in Germany, Cargotec's Hiab unveiled its first piece of equipment manufactured with fossil-free steel, a Multilift hooklift. 

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