Production at the Ovako steel mill in Imatra is based entirely on recycled scrap metal

Ovako Imatra is one of the largest users of scrap metal in Finland. The steel mill’s production is based on 97% recycled scrap metal, of which Fortum supplies a significant part. Thanks to scrap metal and fossil-free electricity production, the carbon footprint of Ovako’s steel products is 80% lower than the global average.

Ovako Imatra production

Ovako develops and manufactures steel for the demanding automotive and engineering industries, for example. Fortum supplies Ovako with scrap metal that meets quality standards. This cooperation has provided Ovako with more options for the availability of recycled steel.

Cooperation based on reliable deliveries and sorting

Ovako is a subsidiary of Sanyo Special Steel and part of the Japanese Nippon Steel Group. Nippon Steel is one of the world’s largest steel companies. Leading manufacturers in the ball bearing, vehicle and engineering industries use high-quality steel based on Ovako’s recycled scrap metal for transmission and transformer equipment, axles, gears, springs, bearings, bolts and mining tools, for example.

A reliable and steady supply of raw materials is important for Ovako. The quality and suitability of the recycled metal supplied by Fortum are based on established quality standards in Finland. Fortum mainly supplies Ovako with what are known as “general classes” and periodically also with other steel grades.

“The more thoroughly sorted and analysed materials Fortum delivers, the more durable and higher-quality steel Ovako is able to manufacture,” says Jukkapekka Sutela, Commercial Director at Fortum.

“A supplier that can provide us with high-quality material consistently is valuable for us. Scrap metal is available, but there are challenges with high-quality sorted material,” says Pekka Karvonen, Purchasing Manager at Ovako.

Steel with a carbon footprint 80% lower than the average

Two billion tonnes of steel are produced globally each year, a third of which is made from recycled scrap metal. In Finland, metal is sorted and recycled efficiently. However, not all scrap iron can be used to produce high-quality recycled steel. In 2021, Ovako Imatra delivered a total of 190,000 tonnes of various steel end-products to its customers around the world.

Ovako’s production process is based on recycled scrap metal and fossil-free electricity production. Consequently, the carbon footprint of Ovako’s steel products is 80% lower than the global average. Its steel products are also slag-free and durable, because impurities are minimised during the production process.

“Part of the carbon footprint of a steel product comes from its raw material. Fortum’s efficient recycling process meets the requirements of responsible recycling and minimises environmental impacts,” Sutela explains.

The steel produced by Ovako has the world’s lowest carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of steel produced. Since the beginning of 2022, Ovako’s steel production has been completely carbon-neutral.

Steel for the most demanding applications

The Imatra steel mill has melted scrap metal for more than 80 years, and the company manufactures more than 250 steel grades, each of which has its own recipe. Most of the special steels produced by the mill are for machine manufacturing. Around 20% of all the steel produced by Ovako is used as a raw material for bearings.

Fortum is not only a supplier of raw material, but also a customer-focused partner seeking growth with its customers. The reuse of metal begins when discarded metal is converted into scrap. In practice, metal can circulate endlessly and is a valuable raw material for changing the world.

“The raw material must be of a high quality for Ovako’s demanding steel production. For this reason, our cooperation aims at continuous development and reliable deliveries,” says Sutela.

More information

Jukkapekka Sutela

Tel: +358 40 820 1396
jukkis [dot] sutela [at] fortum [dot] com