SSAB
SSABImage Source: SMS

SSAB: SMS Group's Sustainable Steel Endeavor

Synopsis:

SMS Group and SSAB in Sweden collaborate for a groundbreaking venture, constructing a pioneering electric arc furnace for fossil-free steel production. The initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions, employing innovative technology and materials, heralding a greener future for the steel industry.

Article:

In a pioneering stride toward a sustainable steel industry, SMS Group and Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB have joined forces to inaugurate a new electric arc furnace (EAF) in Oxelösund, Sweden. This endeavor signifies a significant leap towards minimizing carbon emissions and fostering a more environmentally friendly approach within the steel domain.

The project involves the implementation of a 190-ton Alternate Current-Electric Arc Furnace (AC-EAF) by SMS Group at SSAB's Oxelösund site. This state-of-the-art furnace is set to facilitate steel production using various raw materials, including fossil-free Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) or Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) alongside scrap. Notably, with an upper shell diameter of 9.3 meters, this furnace stands as one of the world's largest installations for similar applications.

SSAB, in its pursuit of decarbonizing steel production, is introducing two revolutionary steels—SSAB Fossil-free and SSAB Zero. SSAB Fossil-free relies on hydrogen-reduced sponge iron instead of coke coal, while SSAB Zero is based on recycled steel. Both steels undergo heating in EAFs powered by fossil-free electricity and fuels, marking a significant stride toward SSAB's ambition of becoming virtually fossil-free by 2030.

SMS Group's contribution encompasses an array of automated features, including slag handling and Eccentric Bottom Tapping (EBT) operations, ensuring operational safety, precision, and productivity without human intervention. Advanced electrode control systems and robotics further augment safety and productivity levels.

The integration of a cutting-edge automation system and digital twin technology by SMS Group facilitates enhanced operational efficiency and precise production simulation. This amalgamation allows for shorter ramp-up periods, superior product quality, and a stable production environment.

The new EAF's robust automation system promises a streamlined "tap-to-tap time" (t-t-t), optimizing energy consumption and ensuring high production efficiency. Side-wall burners, lime/carbon injectors, and off-gas analyzers contribute to the optimized utilization of chemical energy.

Furthermore, the project encompasses a comprehensive yard management system for efficient raw material handling and a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) extension for SSAB, enhancing plant-wide operational efficiency.

Olaf Stalfort, Chief Sales Officer Region Europe for SMS group, emphasized the collaborative effort's significance in driving a more sustainable and environmentally conscious steel industry. By integrating innovative technologies and fossil-free materials, both companies are spearheading the industry towards a greener future.

Conclusion:

The collaboration between SMS Group and SSAB in Sweden marks a pivotal milestone in advancing sustainability within the steel sector. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and committing to the use of fossil-free materials, the initiative sets an exemplary standard for reducing CO₂ emissions and fostering a more eco-friendly steel production landscape. This partnership stands as a testament to the dedication of both entities in leading the industry toward a more sustainable and greener future.

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