General Information

The Clean Steel Partnership is designed to tackle two major challenges: climate change and sustainable growth for the EU. 

  • In line with the European Green Deal, the Clean Planet for All strategy and the Paris Agreement, it takes an integrated approach to fighting climate change and contributes to moving towards climate neutrality by 2050, zero-pollution for a toxic free environment and a circular economy using digital technologies as enabler as well as new forms of collaboration. 
  • It supports the EU commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It contributes to sustainable growth based on knowledge and innovation, as promoted by the   
  • Horizon Europe framework. 

CO2 emissions from the steel sector will not sufficiently decrease compared to 1990 levels without major technological breakthroughs. 

  • Decarbonising the steel sector is crucial not only to reduce emissions, but also to preserve the current competitive position of EU steelmaking. 
  • Moving to a more circular economy will generate GHG emissions reductions. 
  • Any action for decarbonisation must be immediate and coordinated across Member States, production routes and technologies, and with sufficient public support.

The general objective of the Partnership is to develop technologies at TRL8 to reduce CO2 emissions stemming from EU steel production by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, ultimately leading to climate neutrality. This will contribute to the EU effort towards a climate-neutral continent. At the same time, this objective is to be achieved while preserving the competitiveness and viability of the EU steel industry and making sure that EU steel production will be able to meet the growing EU demand for steel products.

The general objective of the Clean Steel Partnership translates into a number of specific objectives to be achieved in the next 7 to 10 years (see Column 1 of Table 1). For each specific objective, one or more operational objectives are identified. (see Column 2 of Table 1).

Specific ObjectiveOperational objectives
1. Enabling steel production through carbon direct avoidance (CDA) technologies at a demonstration scale.1.1. Replacing carbon by renewable energy
1.2. Development of H2-based reduction and/or melting processes
1.3. Electrolytic reduction

2. Fostering smart carbon usage (SCU – Carbon capture) technologies in steelmaking routes at a demonstration scale, thus cutting CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels (e.g. coal) in the existing steel production routes.

2.1. Improving process integration with reduced use of carbon (e.g. gas injection in BF), upstream and downstream
2.2. Increasing the use of non-fossil carbon
2.3. Capturing CO2 for CCU and/or CCS
2.4. Conditioning of metallurgical gases (containing CO2, CO, CH4, etc.) to meet specifications to finally produce chemical feedstock/alternative fuels
3. Developing deployable technologies to improve energy and resource efficiency (SCU - Process Integration).3.1. Increasing the use of prereduced iron carriers
3.2. Developing technologies to reduce the energy required to produce steel
4. Increasing the recycling of steel scrap and residues, thus improving smart resources usage and further supporting a circular economy model in EU.4.1. Enhancing the recycling and reuse of industrial residues of the steel production process
4.2. Enhancing the recycling of steel scrap
5. Demonstrating clean steel breakthrough technologies contributing to climate neutral steelmaking.5.1. Achieving TRL 8 by 2030 in most of the technology building blocks funded by the Partnership
5.2. Demonstrating clean steel breakthrough technologies by 2030 that enable at least a reduction in GHG emission compared to 1990 levels for similar plants

6. Strengthening the global competitiveness of the EU steel industry in line with the EU industrial strategy for steel.

6.1. Creating a new market for ‘clean steel’ products
6.2. Contributing to the EU’s efforts towards ensuring growth and jobs with long-term stability
6.3. Establishing EU steel industry as a leader in low-carbon steel and ensuring standardization and global market uptake of successful technologies developed in the EU
6.4. Fostering R&D collaboration between EU companies and science in the clean steel value chains
6.5. Upskilling steel workforce

The Clean Steel Partnership will be established between the European Commission and the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP). The Partnership will include the entire EU steel value chain community (steel producers, customers, suppliers, plant builders, steel processors, RTOs), will involve any other relevant stakeholders beyond the steel industry, and will be constantly open to new partners. The Partnership will continuously cooperate with public entities at all levels to ensure the alignment of research, innovation and deployment strategies with EU, national and regional programmes and policies, in order to maximise efforts.

Going beyond the current ESTEP membership, the following types of Partners will form the initial core members of the Partnership:

  • Steel producers
  • Plant builders and technology providers,
  • Steel processor,
  • Academia and research institutes,
  • RTOs
  • Public authorities (international, European, national, regional, local),
  • Standardisation bodies,
  • Engineering offices, 
  • Companies operating in the energy sector,
  • Industrial Gas Suppliers,
  • End-users of steel.

For more information, please visit