Green Alchemy: New Zealand's Steel Evolution

New Zealand Steel
New Zealand SteelImage Source: Danieli

Synopsis

New Zealand Steel, aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, has adopted Danieli's Digimelter® technology for greener steel production. This cutting-edge system, featuring the Q-One® power feeder and Tornado® technology, promises enhanced efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

Article:

New Zealand Steel, a subsidiary of BlueScope Group, is taking a significant step towards sustainable steelmaking with the adoption of Danieli's innovative Digimelter® technology. This move aligns with New Zealand's ambitious Zero Carbon Act, targeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Digimelter® system utilizes the Tornado® endless scrap-charging and preheating method, which will replace the existing Klockner Oxygen Blown Maxhutte -KOBM converter. The KOBM converter currently relies on carbon and oxygen, elements that are contributors to carbon emissions.

The introduction of the hybrid-ready Q-One® power feeder within the Digimelter® will allow New Zealand Steel to operate at the lowest operational expenses (OpEx). This is achieved by optimizing the working points for various charge mixes and materials, demonstrating increased flexibility and efficiency.

Furthermore, the Q-Melt® control suite, accompanied by zero-man-around technology packages, ensures real-time control of the steelmaking process with minimal manual oversight. This advanced control system allows for adjustments based on actual process demands, streamlining operations and reducing the potential for human error.

The Digimelter® is designed to incorporate large amounts of hot metal and is prepared for future use of Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI), thereby providing full flexibility in raw material utilization. This flexibility is essential for meeting the requirements of existing secondary metallurgy stations.

A standout feature of the Q-One® power feeder is its hybrid design, which enables the direct use of renewable energy sources. This innovation facilitates the digital control of the electrical arc while minimizing impact on the power grid.

The ECS Tornado® component of the system significantly improves heat transfer to the scrap, optimizing off-gas flow and preheating efficiency. This is particularly beneficial when adjusting the charge mix to include varying percentages of scrap metal.

In addition to the Digimelter®, New Zealand Steel will incorporate a new Danieli fume-treatment plant, ensuring that dust emissions at stack release meet stringent European standards.

Conclusion

The transition to Danieli's Digimelter® technology by New Zealand Steel represents a pivotal development in the steel industry's move towards a more sustainable future. Set to be operational by 2026, this initiative positions New Zealand as a leader in green steelmaking, reflecting a global shift towards environmentally responsible industrial practices.

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