Czech steelmaker Trinecke Zelezarny to produce near full capacity in 2022, start green projects

Czech Republic-based steelmaker Trinecke Zelezarny is set to produce about 2.5 million mt of crude steel in 2022, up from 2.4 million recorded in 2021, the company’s spokesperson told S&P Global Commodity Insights on June 7.

Demand was reported to be good, with the company working close to its 2.6 million mt/year capacity and not endangered by the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We have set up production processes to react promptly to the latest developments of the situation in Ukraine and to ensure a sufficient supply of raw materials,” the spokesperson explained. “We are working intensively on strengthening the range of suppliers to ensure smooth operation of our facilities.”

The company will also start implementing some specific projects to reduce carbon emissions, cutting its emissions by more than a half by 2030, the spokesperson confirmed to S&P Global.

The first to be started next year is the construction of a new emission-free briquetting line with a capacity of up to 500,000 mt of briquettes per year, which will replace the steel sinter plant and partially the blast furnace sinter.

The investment costs will reach CZK 950 million ($41 million) for which the company plans to finance part of the costs from a subsidy of the Modernisation Fund in amount of CZK 405 million, for which it has applied and is awaiting notification from the European authorities. The line is expected to be operational in mid-2025.

“There are 820-850 kg of CO2 emissions per tonne of steel plant sinter produced,” Jan Czudek, the CEO of the company stated. “Thanks to the briquetting line [cold joining material necessary for pig iron production]. Emissions will be significantly reduced by up to 70,000 mt per year,” Czudek explained. The consumption of coke and coke dust, which is sintered together with limestone and ore at the sintering plants, will also be reduced.

The company’s green investments will have several projects including a partial switch to a modern electric arc furnace technology, and steel production from scrap.

“We have been preparing the necessary steps to incorporate a higher proportion of scrap into the production flow. However, it must be said openly that this will require a clear European Union policy on scrap trade and sufficient amount of renewable energy,” Czudek underscored.

Many European steelmakers have been vocal about the importance of scrap and the need to somehow try and keep it inside the borders with the scrap labelled as “the new gold.”

Platts Turkish import of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) was assessed at $435/mt CFR June 6, unchanged from June 1.

— Annalisa Villa