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Crafting a Comprehensive Global Roadmap for Decarbonizing the Magnesium Industry

The International Magnesium Association (IMA) unveils a strategic roadmap for decarbonizing the magnesium industry, aiming for a sustainable future. This initiative aligns with global climate change efforts and envisions a significant industry transformation. The roadmap spans short to long-term strategies, emphasizing collaborative stakeholder action across the globe. It highlights technological advancements and the industry’s role in reducing carbon emissions, with a focus on innovative production methods, energy savings, and eco-labelling. The IMA and its diverse members are committed to propelling the industry towards a greener and more efficient future.

The Approach for a Decarbonization Strategy

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The formulation of the strategy commenced with a comprehensive assessment of prevailing hotspots within the magnesium industry. A thorough evaluation was conducted across all positions within the value chain. This strategic framework was subsequently delineated into three temporal categories: short-term, where immediate changes are feasible; medium-term, entailing an intermediate need for new infrastructure, research, and development capabilities; and long-term considerations.

The strategy also incorporates a global perspective that accounts for worldwide regulations and directives, and places ambitious targets for the magnesium industry. Significantly, equal emphasis is placed on all stakeholders throughout the value chain to effect meaningful change. Our recognition of the transmission effect illustrates how the upstream scope 1 and 2 emissions of one company can result in downstream scope 3 emissions for another. Consequently, the strategy underscores the importance of collective action.

Lastly, emission pathways were meticulously analyzed and visualized in a roadmap format, highlighting key milestones critical to the magnesium sector’s decarbonization.

Short term: Strategic Pathway from Present to 2026

I. Primary Producer

Sourcing low-carbon emission ferrosilicon for horizontal, vertical, and integrated Pidgeon processes

A transitional ramp-up of renewable energy sources to replace fossil-based ones for all processes where applicable

Optimization of internal processes such as energy management, reuse of heat, reduction of losses, and other cross-industrial learnings

Rerouting and reducing scope 2 emissions to scope 1 where possible (investing in low-carbon emission or renewable electricity in the vicinity of plants)

II. Trader, OEM, Processing eg. casting, extrusion, etc.

Optimization of internal processes, technologies, and energy management

Talent upskilling in the design and development process to establish the competitive edge of magnesium in utilization- substitution and lightweighting

Increase of circular and efficient measures such as in-house scrap recycling

Support low-carbon emission initiatives on the primary side and invest in the cost of greener magnesium as a future feasible economic model

III. Recycling of Mg / (End-of-life)

Assessment of the current magnesium recycling capacities

Increasing recycled portion in blended secondary grades for alloys

Work on strategies to better utilize end-of-life magnesium scrap and build it into an economically feasible model

Participating in the recycling working group and holding stakeholder roundtable to propel demand/supply of recycling capacities in the relevant industries

Medium term: Strategic Pathway from 2027 to 2031

I. Primary Producer

Diversification of primary production sources based on a logistical-optimization approach to stabilize supply/demand

Investment in R&D for pilot projects with renewed and improved magnesium metal production processes

Sourcing responsible and low-carbon emission primary aluminum and scrap for Al-thermic process
Investment in scope 1 emission reduction through carbon capture and redirection of storage to other products

II. Trader, OEM, Processing eg. casting, extrusion, etc.

Defining a wider set of magnesium use cases and extended production techniques such as metal 3D printing and gigacasting

Building a circular model for the magnesium products on a company operation level to serve as a basis for a dynamic material flow tracker

III. End-of-life / (Recycling of Mg)

Development and testing of high-quality secondary magnesium alloys from all scrap categories
Implementing an incentive strategy within the ecolabelling system for the responsible sourcing and use of recycled magnesium capacity in all use cases including alloying

Long term: Strategic Pathway from 2032 to 2050

I. Primary Producer

Continued investment in R&D for renewed and improved magnesium metal production processes

Decarbonization of all logistical routes related to primary production

II. Trader, OEM, Processing eg. casting, extrusion, etc.

Decarbonization of intermediate logistical efforts

III. End-of-life / (Recycling of Mg)

Reaggregate end-of-life scrap via highly efficient processes to close the loop by using secondary magnesium as feedstock for blended primary production and reusing existing infrastructure

Decarbonising the Magnesium Industry: A Vision for 2050

Taking all into figure the decarbonising the magnesium industry is a vision fpr 2050 with key milestones like green magnesium pilot projects coming into effect, developing of high quality secondary magnesium alloys and the establishing a dynamic magnesium material flow tracking system to optimise transportation routes. Only then is it possible to reach the goal.


Source: Euroguss

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