Russian steelmaker Severstal is looking to develop carbon-free steel as well as other alternative alloys that can replace steel in some uses and decrease its cost of production.
The company has started its own fund that has invested in at least four startups to fulfill this business strategy that will also allow it to remain more competitive in the long term.
Most recently, the company invested in starting a venture that focuses on funding new materials and technologies, including concepts that support carbon-free steelmaking. The fund’s objective is to reduce Severstal’s cost by at least 10pc over its main competitors for basic products, as well as look at concrete and wood alternatives outside of steel.
The fund has already invested in Airborne, a Dutch company that develops composites, that are an alternate to aluminum and steel, used in airplanes, ships, and construction.
Over the past year, Severstal Ventures invested $20mn in startups including Arcanum Alloys which makes steel-based alloys, including products with properties equivalent to stainless steel, but with a focus on lower production costs. Severstal plans to license Arcanum’s technology for its steel plants in Russia and is in the process of conducting tests at one of its locations.
Other investments include, Modumetal, which makes corrosion-resistant nano-alloys, and Chrysalix RoboValley, which specializes in investments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and creation of new materials that benefit steel production processes.