German steel giant thyssenkrupp Steel has ordered a hydrogen-powered direct reduction plant with a capacity of 2.5 million metric tons of directly reduced iron, two innovative melters, and auxiliary units from North Rhine-Westphalia based SMS for their Duisburg location in Germany. The cost of the engineering, delivery, and construction of the plant is over 1.8 billion euros. The plant is expected to start up at the end of 2026 and would lead to an annual reduction of over 3.5 million metric tons of CO2.After the approval for an earlier start to work by the German government, thyssenkrupp Steel will begin with the detailed planning and preparatory work for the construction of the direct reduction plant. One of the initial tasks on the list is to prepare the construction site within the premises of thyssenkrupp Steel. The preliminary tasks can be started immediately, under the scope for an earlier start to work that has been approved. The overall project remains subject to European Union approval under state aid provisions, as well as the final funding decision. Both are expected in the coming months. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the German government have already signaled substantial financial support for the project.The innovative concept ensures consistently high product quality. This is because it is seamlessly integrated into the existing iron and steel plant, thereby allowing all subsequent process steps from the steel mill onward to be maintained. As a result, the existing plant structure can be used efficiently. Customers will continue to receive the complete, high-quality product portfolio with the premium quality they are accustomed to.The tkH2Steel transformation concept marks the beginning of a shift towards more environmentally friendly steel production methods, replacing the highly CO2-intensive blast furnace process. This move is made possible by the introduction of hydrogen-based direct reduction plants, which have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20 million metric tons annually at the Duisburg location alone. thyssenkrupp Steel is committed to avoiding 6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2030, representing more than 30 percent of its current emissions. The ultimate goal is to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2045 at the latest.