The Kemi mine in northern Finland will use renewable diesel to help achieve its GHG reductions. (Photo: Outokumpu)

Outokumpu, a global leader in sustainable stainless steel, is accelerating the green transition. To help meet its emissions reduction targets, the company’s Kemi mine in Finland will become carbon neutral by 2025. The mine replace traditional diesel fuel with renewable solutions provided by Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel. With renewable fuels, the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Kemi mine will be cut by almost 11.3 million kilos, which corresponds to the removal of approximately 4,000 passenger cars from Finnish traffic for a year. 

“Outokumpu is committed to ambitious climate targets in line with the 1.5°C ambition,” said Heidi Peltonen, vice president, sustainability at Outokumpu. “We aim to decrease direct and indirect emissions as well as emissions from the supply chain by 42% per ton of stainless steel we produce by 2030 compared to the 2016 baseline. The carbon neutrality of the Kemi mine is an investment worth millions of euros and when realized, it will mean a reduction of almost 40 million kilos in Outokumpu’s GHG emissions. The three key factors of the Kemi mine’s carbon neutrality are giving up fossil fuels, utilizing low-emission electricity, and replacing natural and propane gas in heating. As a first step, we switch to renewable fuels and aim to identify all possibilities to decrease emissions from the entire value chain to get as close to zero in our total emissions as possible. We are also studying the opportunities for compensating the remaining emissions in our value chain that cannot be otherwise reduced with current technology. Our goal is to make the Kemi mine the world’s first operating carbon-neutral mine by 2025.” 

The Kemi mine is the only chromite mine in the European Union and part of the sustainable supply chain of Outokumpu’s stainless steel mill in Tornio. Outokumpu’s operations in Kemi and Tornio also provide a great number of jobs in Finland.

“Our own chromite mine is a competitive advantage,” said Martti Sassi, president of Outokumpu’s ferrochrome business area. “As part of the development of the Kemi mine and achieving our sustainability targets, we have recently finished a significant mine project. In 2017–2023, we invested more than EUR 280 million ($300 million) into deepening our underground mine from 500 meters to 1,000 meters. This is to ensure the continuous supply of chromite, a key raw material in stainless steel, for decades to come. The carbon footprint of the ferrochrome produced by our company is 67% lower than the industry average, which in part has an impact on our stainless steel having the smallest carbon footprint in the market.”

Neste’s renewable diesel, made from 100% renewable raw materials such as used cooking oil and animal fat from food industry waste is used to replace fossil fuels in the machines, trains and alternative power sources in the Kemi mine and the Tornio mill as well as in the transports between the mine and the mill. The entire fleet of the Kemi and Tornio operations as well as contractor fleet will fully switch to Neste MY Renewable Diesel.