TK to maintain quality with DRI process; uncertainty lingers for green steel

German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp will be able to produce the same steel qualities with the company’s low-carbon-emission steelmaking processes, but regulatory uncertainty in green steelmaking persists, the company said March 17.

Thyssenkrupp published the findings of an external study conducted by RWTH Aachen University on the company’s model for integrating the direct reduction process into the existing metallurgical network in Duisburg.

The study showed that the steel mill can be decarbonized while the entire portfolio of grades can be produced “climate neutrally, including all premium grades.” The adapted plant configuration will enable the company to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.

“We now have to dispel existing uncertainties in the framework conditions, especially with regard to funding and the regulatory framework,” Bernhard Osburg, CEO of Thyssenkrupp Steel, in a statement. “First of all, we need planning security to establish a robust and competitive business model for green steel.”

European mills have called for the need of more frameworks and regulation in green steel making, especially surrounding higher production costs as well as meeting the need for more hydrogen commercially available.

German steelmakers Dillinger and Saarstahl, both part of Stahl-Holding-Saar, also said March 17 that more time will be needed to ramp up the availability of green hydrogen for industrial use in green steel production and that more environmental measures such as dedusting will be enforced at the sites until the commercial availability of large-scale volumes of hydrogen.

Rogesa, the German pig iron producer co-owned by Saarland-based Dillinger and Saarstahl, installed a new dedusting system at its sinter plant No. 3 to curb carbon emissions, the steelmakers said in their own statement.

The heat recovery generates an additional energy benefit of 82,000 MWh, which equals a reduction of carbon emissions of 25,000 mt/year according to the steelmakers.

The investment value of the new dedusting system for the circular cooler with an integrated heat recovery system at the sinter located at the Dillingen site, is worth Eur28 million.

“The energy gained from heat extraction reduces carbon emissions and generates more electricity that does not need to be purchased,” said Martin Baues, chief technical officer of Dillinger and Saarstahl.

— Laura Varriale