Salzgitter AG is now taking another significant step toward producing low-CO2 steel.
This marks the start of development on μDRAL, a demonstration plant for the manufacture of direct reduced iron, as part of the SALCOS – SAlzgitter Low-CO 2Steelmaking initiative (DRI). This is the world’s first iron ore direct reduction facility that can run on natural gas or hydrogen.
In the first half of 2022, production will begin. The direct reduced iron will be utilized in the blast furnace and the electric arc furnace at the Peine plant to reduce the amount of pulverized injection coal. The plant has a production capacity of 2500 kg/d and may be operated in a variety of ways with varied natural gas and hydrogen proportions (0–100%). Tenova is the supplier and technology partner. Tenova is a worldwide manufacturer of plant and equipment for the metal and mining sectors.
The construction of a new direct reduction plant is the next step towards realizing SALCOS. The transition to hydrogen-based processes at Salzgitter AG is scheduled to be completed in stages by 2050 at the earliest. By that time, CO2 emissions from steel production will have decreased by up to 95%.
The new plant will cost € 13.6 million, according to the Salzgitter Group. The German Federal Ministry of the Environment is contributing 40% of the project’s financing. In December 2020, Federal Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze presented the official approval in person. The ceremony was also attended by Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony Weil, and Salzgitter City Mayor Frank Klingebiel.