The German government agreed to support the country's steel industry in its long-term transition to low-carbon production, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced on Wednesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The conversion to more "climate-friendly steel production" would require investments of around 30 billion euros (34 billion U.S. dollars) in Germany until 2050, according to industry calculations presented by BMWi.
"It is important that we act now, so that this industrial sector, which is so important for our national economy, will still be able to produce competitively and in a climate-friendly way in Germany in 30 years' time," said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.
According to BMWi, the situation in the global steel industry had become difficult in recent years due to overcapacities, difficult trade policy environment and as ambitious environmental and climate targets.
Between 2010 and 2019, crude steel production in Germany fell by around 10 percent to 39.7 million tons last year, according to the German Steel Federation (WV Stahl).
The COVID-19 crisis further aggravated the situation for the German steel industry. In both April and May, crude steel production in Germany plummeted by around 25 percent year-on-year, WV Stahl recently announced.
WV Stahl President Hans Juergen Kerkhoff welcomed the government's decision on Wednesday, describing the strategy as a "coherent, overall industrial policy concept that addresses the challenges facing the industry."
According to the German government, it would support the transition of the country's steel industry with "extensive investments" in energy industry infrastructure and the development of a hydrogen economy.