Current press releases

Current press releases

We post all current press releases here so that you are always up to date.

CRONIMET Group commits to the climate protection targets of the Science Based Targets initiative

Karlsruhe, January 24, 2023

  • Globally active company commits to target net-zero standard by 2050

  • Commitment is part of the Group’s sustainability strategy

  • CRONIMET is a member of the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” campaign

The globally active CRONIMET Group is setting an example and taking the next step with its climate strategy. The Germany-based company is now joining the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to combat climate change. In doing so, CRONIMET commits itself to the climate protection goals of the international initiative and at the same time lines up with the “Business Ambition for 1.5 °C" campaign of the UN Global Compact. 

With its commitment to the SBTi, CRONIMET has agreed that the entire Group set short- and long-term targets for company-wide emission reductions to comply in line with the science-based net-zero standards of the SBTi. “Joining the SBTi represents another consistent step in our CSR strategy. Of course, the goals we have set are high. As a company in the circular economy, we acknowledge our responsibility and want to contribute to a sustainable future. The fight against climate change is part of this and requires the quickest of action from all of us,” says CRONIMET CEO Jürgen Pilarsky. 

To achieve its goals, CRONIMET focuses on avoiding emissions by using renewable energies, electrifying the machinery and vehicle fleet, and by the reduction of emissions through efficiency measures. “In our climate strategy, we have developed concrete measures for those responsible on site to plan and implement their specific reduction targets,” explains Head of CSR Management Konstantin Müller. 

The CRONIMET Group will report regularly on its progress in a standardized and transparent manner in its CSR Report and via SBTi.

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CRONIMET Holding Group and partner banks extend cooperation ahead of schedule

Karlsruhe, September 30, 2022

  • Bank consortium increases loan volume to 700 million Euros 

  • Financing of business operations secured until at least 2025 in difficult market environment


A banking consortium consisting of 13 German and European banks and CRONIMET Holding GmbH have extended the existing syndicated loan agreement until 2025 and increased the loan volume by more than 100 million Euros to approximately 700 million Euros. This secures the financing of the family-owned company based in Karlsruhe until September 2025. The partners also concluded extension options for a further two years.

“The early extension and the increase in the credit volume are a strong sign from the banking market and give us financing security for the upcoming years, which are likely to be rather difficult in view of the current geopolitical and economic environment,” explains Bernhard Kunsmann, CFO CRONIMET Holding GmbH. For the first time, the financing package also includes a credit line that allows CRONIMET to respond more flexibly to the market environment and, in particular, to volatilities in the raw materials markets.

The banking syndicate, with Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and HSBC as the lead banks (mandated lead arranger and bookrunner), was also expanded and diversified to include several regional and also international banks. “The banks are not only rewarding our good corporate development in recent years, but also our sustainable business model,” says Bernhard Kunsmann. As the world’s leading company in stainless steel recycling, CRONIMET stands for resource conservation and raw material security in equal measure. In 2022, the CRONIMET Holding Group submitted its first sustainability report in accordance with the internationally recognized framework of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and is consistently working on the implementation of its sustainability strategy, in particular the goal of working CO2 neutral in by 2030.

In the first two quarters of 2022, the CRONIMET Holding Group generated very good earnings. Since the beginning of the third quarter, the outlook has clouded over, and forecasts are difficult to make. Jürgen Pilarsky, CEO and majority shareholder of CRONIMET Holding GmbH, is nevertheless optimistic. “Currently, it is difficult to predict how market demand will develop in view of rising energy prices and the associated decline in stainless steel production. Thanks to the very good earnings performance to date, I am nevertheless very confident that we will achieve our target result for 2022 in the Group.”

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CRONIMET commissions first battery-powered excavator SENNEBOGEN 825 Electro Battery in operation

Karlsruhe, September 13, 2022

  • Significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the recycling process

  • Innovation project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection

The Karlsruhe-based stainless-steel recycling specialist CRONIMET Ferroleg. GmbH has put the first SENNEBOGEN 825 Electro Battery battery-powered excavator into operation. It was developed as an innovation project of the company SENNEBOGEN Maschinenfabrik GmbH with the cooperation of CRONIMET.

The aim of the innovation project was to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the recycling process. The new battery-powered excavator combines the flexibility of traditional diesel-powered excavators with the benefits of a zero-emission electric excavator that also has lower maintenance and energy costs. The battery-powered 30 t electric excavator 825 Electro Battery enables completely emission-free work and thus makes a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions at CRONIMET. “With this innovation project, we are taking a decisive step on the road to CO2 neutrality,” says Marijo Zeljko, Managing Director of CRONIMET Ferroleg. GmbH. “Electrification of our machinery is a key component of our climate strategy.”

The companies of the CRONIMET Group have committed to operate in a CO2-neutral manner by 2030. “As CRONIMET Ferroleg. we are ready to invest in innovation and move forward in the industry. That’s why we are very pleased that the project has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection,” says Marijo Zeljko.

Currently nine excavators are in operation at CRONIMET Ferroleg. GmbH in Karlsruhe, returning around 140,000 tons of stainless-steel scrap and other alloyed scrap to the raw material cycle every year. Initially, CRONIMET will use the battery-powered excavator for feeding the scrap press, preparing material for the press, and for sorting work in the incoming goods department. The battery-powered excavator runs on 100 percent certified green electricity and saves up to 125 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year in two-shift operation compared with the previous solution – and with the same freedom of movement.

CRONIMET supported the product development with important practical know-how and actively participated in the prototype status of the machine. The battery-powered electric excavator developed in the innovation project is thus optimally geared to the requirements of demanding metal recycling.

The SENNEBOGEN 825 Electro Battery is based on the SENNEBOGEN 825 E with 110 kilowatt electric motor. The operating weight of approx. 30 tons and the range of 14 meters are unchanged. Its power storage unit, a lithium-ion battery pack with 378 kilowatt hours of storage capacity installed at the rear of the machine in place of the counterweight, enables the excavator to operate flexibly for up to 8 hours without intermediate charging. When used stationary by cable, it can work and charge at the same time. Thanks to the onboard charger and the 63A CEE plug system used, the electric excavator can be connected to conventional power sockets, so there is no need for additional investment in charging columns.

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CRONIMET Group presents its first sustainability report

Karlsruhe, August 15, 2022

  • Sustainability report follows internationally recognized GRI framework

  • Emphasis on CO2 neutrality

Holding GmbH has published its first group-wide sustainability report. The Germany based company follows the internationally recognized standard of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), option: core. “With standard-compliant reporting, we want to report comprehensively and transparently on our sustainability commitment in all dimensions,” explains Bernhard Kunsmann, CFO of CRONIMET Holding GmbH.

As a globally active company with around 70 locations on six continents, CRONIMET is committed to its responsibility for the environment and society. A project team has been preparing the Group-wide report and strategy for the past two years. This has laid the foundations for further developing the strategy in close collaboration with stakeholders and defining additional, concrete goals in the areas of environment, social affairs, and governance. A key goal: CRONIMET aims to reduce directly caused CO2 emissions across the Group by 2030 and become CO2 neutral in Scope 1 and 2, as well as achieve the Net Zero standard of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) by 2050.

“This is a very ambitious goal that we are pursuing with vigor and strategy because we are convinced that, as a company in the circular economy, we can also make our contribution here,” explains CFO Bernhard Kunsmann. CRONIMET is currently preparing to join the SBTi. “We embody sustainability in our business model and in the way we see ourselves,” emphasizes majority shareholder and CEO Jürgen Pilarsky. “But it is not enough for us, as the world market leader in stainless steel recycling, to make a significant contribution to resource efficiency by returning valuable raw materials to the materials cycle. We want to go beyond this and make our corporate practices even more sustainable at every point: for the environment, our employees, our company and for society.”

The GRI Report and the accompanying sustainability magazine are published on the website of CRONIMET Holding GmbH.

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CRONIMET Group successfully concludes anniversary year 2021 – Changes in the management board

Karlsruhe, February 16, 2022

  • World market leader in stainless steel recycling consolidates its position

  • Oliver Kleinhempel retires from the management board and will will focus even more on the operating business in the future

The CRONIMET Group, world market leader in the recycling of stainless steel scrap with headquarters in Karlsruhe, has concluded its 40th anniversary year very successfully. Despite the increasingly difficult global trade relations, some restructuring within the industry and, of course, the still ongoing pandemic: the world market leader has come through the turbulent times very well and was able to further consolidate its position as number one in the industry. This is also reflected in the economic success. For the first time in more than ten years, the operating result before interest and depreciation has risen to over 100 million euros.

The CRONIMET Group has not only grown in its core business. Rather, the Karlsruhe-based family business has once again done what it has excelled at over the past 40 years: Recognizing and seizing opportunities. For some years now, CRONIMET has been working new business areas which – docked to the core business of metal recycling – are intended to further broaden the company's business base. In addition to the processing of metal sludges by the subsidiary CRONIMET Envirotec in Bitterfeld near Leipzig or the processing of a tungsten stockpile with approximately 12 million tons of tungsten ore tailings from a closed mine in Australia, another field of activity has been added in 2021 with the recycling of materials (cobalt and nickel) for the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

"What has always distinguished us have been our employees, their expertise and their flexibility. That and our partnership-based relationships within our industry, which have grown after more than 40 years, have also enabled us in this case and continue to enable us to recognize such opportunities as they arise and then to take advantage of them to secure the future of our company," says Jürgen Pilarsky, CEO of CRONIMET Holding GmbH.

Despite all economic success, the shareholders and management of the CRONIMET Group are also aware of their social responsibility. Thus, in 2021, the "Corporate Social Responsibility" area was expanded in terms of personnel as well as investments were made at many subsidiaries, for example, in solar energy and e-mobility, not only in the vehicle fleet, but also on the sites themselves. "We are convinced that the topic of sustainability has become second nature to all our employees, so we are very confident that we will also achieve our goal of being climate-neutral in 2030," says CFO Bernhard Kunsmann, who is responsible for CSR on the Executive Board.

CRONIMET also wants to be among the pioneers when it comes to women in management positions. "Even though there are currently no legal regulations for companies of our size, we have signed a voluntary commitment according to which there should always be at least one woman on our holding company's management board," says Annette Gartner, the managing director responsible for human resources, among other things. Majority shareholder and CEO Jürgen Pilarsky would even like to see equal representation on the management board in the future.

Oliver Kleinhempel focuses even more on operational business

In addition to the operative business, CRONIMET has also set the course for the future in terms of personnel. After Jürgen Pilarsky, son of the company founder Günter Pilarsky and CEO of CRONIMET Holding GmbH, took over the majority share in the family-owned company in 2021, another restructuring at the highest management level will follow early in 2022.

Oliver Kleinhempel has left the management of CRONIMET Holding GmbH for personal reasons on February 1, 2022. Kleinhempel will remain with the company and in the future will devote himself even more strongly and operationally to his previous areas of responsibility of Raw Materials, Processing and Business Development as well as our businesses in Asia and Australia. This move will enable him to focus even more intensively on the opportunities available to CRONIMET in the raw materials markets in the future.

"We respect Oliver Kleinhempel's decision and are also very pleased that he will remain with the CRONIMET Group. I know that he will continue to bring the same high level of commitment to his areas of responsibility and I look forward to a continued very successful collaboration," says Jürgen Pilarsky, to whom Kleinhempel will report directly in the future. As Oliver Kleinhempel will continue to perform his operational duties in the future, there are no plans to fill his position within the management of CRONIMET Holding.

Outlook 2022

For the 1st quarter in the new fiscal year, CRONIMET expects a continuation of the good development of 2021. Also for the 2nd quarter of 2022 a high utilization of the customers' capacities is emerging, so that the management assumes that the planning for the entire year will be achieved.

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Expert opinion confirms: No abnormalities in water quality in the Voghji River in Armenia

Karlsruhe, August 6, 2021

The CRONIMET group of companies has been facing allegations of environmental pollution in Armenia and Azerbaijan for several weeks. More specifically, the Voghji River, which flows from Armenian territory into Azerbaijan, is said to be heavily polluted. The allegations relate to the Armenian ZCMC mine, in which CRONIMET held shares until 2019.

CRONIMET comprehensively and transparently supports clarification of the reasons behind these allegations. Therefore, CRONIMET has informed the Armenian ZCMC copper-molybdenum mine, which has been named as the culprit, about the allegations and asked for a statement. ZCMC subsequently provided a water analysis, which CRONIMET had reviewed by a recognized, independent soil and water analysis expert based in Germany.

Allegations that the water ZCMC used in mining and subsequently returned to a nearby river after treatment was highly contaminated were clearly refuted by the expert report. According to the independent expert's analysis of ZCMC's documents, the report does not give any indication that the river has been polluted by ZCMC.

On the contrary, it shows that the measured values for water quality do not exhibit any significant anomalies. Only the pH value is slightly elevated, as well as the manganese value.

In detail: In the Drinking Water Ordinance of the Federal Republic of Germany, a guideline range of 6.5 to 9.5 is specified for the pH value. According to the expert opinion, the average pH value for the water discharged into the Armenian River is 10.375. With this slightly increased value, it can be assumed that after a short flow distance there is no longer any negative influence on the pH value of the river.

In the Drinking Water Ordinance of the Federal Republic of Germany a limit value of 0.05 mg/l is specified for manganese. Here, the value for the discharged water is 0.068 mg/l. For manganese, too, it can be assumed that even after a short flow distance there is no longer any negative influence on the water quality of the river, especially since the manganese concentration recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 0.4 mg/l and thus far above the values mentioned.

Those responsible for the CRONIMET group of companies are surprised by the accusations against the company. Not only because CRONIMET has not held any shares in ZCMC since 2019. But also because numerous steps were taken to improve water quality and over 60 million dollars were invested in environmental protection measures during the period in which the group of companies was the majority shareholder of the mine (until 2019).

About the CRONIMET Holding Group
The CRONIMET Holding Group, headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, is a global specialist for stainless steel scrap, ferroalloys and primary metals. For four decades, the company has been supplying raw materials to the stainless steel producing industry. The focus is on trading & sales, recycling and production & services. The CRONIMET Holding Group was founded in 1980 and today has a global presence with more than 1500 employees at over 70 locations.

Contact person:
Stavros Georgiou
Press spokesperson
Südbeckenstraße 22
76189 Karlsruhe, Germany

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