Germany’s Federal Environment Minister Ms Svenja Schulze recently presented Salzgitter AG with the funding decision for the construction of the first iron ore direct reduction plant that can be operated flexibly with hydrogen and natural gas. With technology concept SALCOS, the Salzgitter Group in collaboration with partners from industry and research, the foundations for a Almost CO2 free steel production created. Central elements are electricity generated from renewable sources, which is used for the production of green hydrogen by means of electrolysis. In direct reduction plants, this replaces the carbon that is currently used in conventional blast furnace processes to extract iron from ores. The Salzgitter Group has already installed several wind turbines and hydrogen electrolysers.
The new direct reduction plant represents the next step in the realization of SALCOS. By 2050, the complete transformation from conventional to hydrogen-based steel production at Salzgitter AG is to be implemented in several stages. This can reduce the production of CO2 in steel production by up to 95%.
The contract for the construction of the DRI plant will be awarded soon; Production should start in the first half of 2022. Initially, the directly reduced iron is used in the blast furnace process to save injected coal and in the electric arc furnace at the Peine plant. As early as November 2020, green flat steel will be produced with less than 25% of the CO2 Footprint of products from conventional production in the network of the Peine and Salzgitter plants has been recorded.