Saarland mills line up €3.5 billion for conversion

Saarstahl and Dillinger Hütte will be investing €3.5 billion ($3.67 billion) to transform the steel industry in the German state of Saarland and enable production of green steel, Kallanish hears from the companies.

The decision by the supervisory boards of parent holding company Stahl-Holding-Saar (SHS) will provide for an annual production of 3.5 million tonnes of steel based on the direct-reduced iron (DRI) route starting in 2027. The official announcement of what SHS calls a “historic investment” was made on Friday in the presence of Saarland’s prime minister, Anke Rehlinger.

Over the next few years leading up to 2027, an electric arc furnace (EAF) and a DRI plant for the production of sponge iron will be built at the Dillinger in Dillingen. In addition, an EAF will also be built at Saarstahl’s site in Völklingen. A new product branding has been developed to visually represent the transformation: “Pure Steel +”, with the “+” referring to the carbon-neutrality of the products, SHS points out.

The availability of green hydrogen at competitive prices is a basic precondition for this project to succeed, along with prompt funding commitments from Berlin and Brussels. SHS notes. Local production of hydrogen will therefore be established as a first step together with the local energy suppliers, before connecting to the European hydrogen network, it says.

Christian Koehl Germany