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BMW Group invests in MOE company Boston Metal; CO2-free steel production

The BMW Group company is investing in an innovative method for CO2-free steel production developed by American startup Boston Metal (earlier post), through its venture capital fund, BMW i Ventures. Boston Metal is commercializing molten oxide electrolysis (MOE), a patented tonnage metals production platform.

Over the coming years, Boston Metal plans to expand the new method for steel production on an industrial scale. The investment is part of the BMW Group’s sustainability activities aimed at significantly reducing CO2 emissions across the supplier network.

We systematically identify the raw materials and components in our supplier network with the highest CO2 emissions from production. Steel is one of them, but it is vital to car production. For this reason, we have set ourselves the goal of continuously reducing CO2 emissions in the steel supply chain. By 2030, CO2 emissions should be about two million tonnes lower than today’s figure.

—Dr Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network

BMW Group press plants in Europe process more than half a million tonnes of steel per year.

Blast furnaces used in conventional steel production generate carbon dioxide. The startup Boston Metal uses electricity for its new technology, which, by means of an electrolysis cell, produces pig iron that is later processed into steel. If electricity from renewable energies is used for this process, then steel production is carbon-free.

The young company will build demonstration facilities for this process over the next few years and further develop it for use on an industrial scale.

The BMW Group established close contact with Boston Metal already last year in the context of its own research activities and through the BMW Startup Garage. The company is now investing in the startup as part of its i Ventures activities.

Our investors span across the steel value chain, from the upstream mining and iron ore companies to the downstream end customer, and validate Boston Metal’s innovative process to produce high-quality steel, cost-competitively, and at scale.

—Tadeu Carneiro, Chairman and CEO of Boston Metal


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