25 Aug 2020

Hydrogen-Based Steel Production Starts at Dillinger

25 Aug 2020  by Joanna Sampson   

Germany’s first hydrogen-based steel production plant that uses the green gas as reducing agent in the blast furnace has begun operation in Dillingen.

Accomplished by injecting hydrogen-rich coke gas, the use of hydrogen in steel production is a key factor in reducing carbon emissions.

The coke gas injection system is an important step toward producing green steel and minimising the use of resources.

Carbon emissions from the blast furnace can be reduced by replacing the carbon in the blast furnace with hydrogen as a reducing agent and energy source.

This means conditions are now in place for future operation of the blast furnaces, as far as technically possible, with green hydrogen.

The precondition for this as well as for the complete conversion of steel production to hydrogen – based then on other technologies like electric furnaces and hydrogen-based direct reduction plants – is the future availability in Saarland of green hydrogen in sufficient quantities and at competitive conditions.

Peter Altmaier, German Minister of Economics and Energy, visited the Dillingen site recently together with Saarland’s Minister-President Tobias Hans and Saarland’s Minister of Economics and Energy Anke Rehlinger to gather information about the plant and where the companies stand in the upcoming transformation process.

“Dillinger and Saarstahl adopted a future-focused strategy last year with the motto ‘proactive, carbon-free, efficient’,” said Tim Hartmann, Chairman of the Board of Saarstahl and Dillinger.

“In the course of this, we also defined the specific steps for the complete conversion of our production to green steel.”

“We are ready and eagerly awaiting the starting signal from the legislators. For the next major steps, reliable political framework conditions must be ensured in three areas: a fair foreign trade framework, support during the transformation and sufficient green energy at competitive prices.”

“Our ambitious goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2035. The political framework for this must be created during this year.”

“The German government’s Steel Action Plan and the current German presidency of the EU Council provide the framework for this.”

“Berlin and Brussels will have to demonstrate their commitment to the Green Deal by the end of this year. Time is running out!”

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