Thyssenkrupp announced on Wednesday (9.30 a.m.) more details about its large-scale project worth billions to produce low-CO2 steel in Duisburg. Germany's largest steel producer wants to build a so-called direct reduction plant (DR plant) there in the coming years, which can also be operated with hydrogen. The plant is to replace a blast furnace from 2026. North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) and Thyssenkrupp CEO Martina Merz also want to take part in a press event.
The plant planned in Duisburg for the low-carbon production of steel is to be built by the plant manufacturer SMS Group. SMS is to build the DR plant and two melters. According to earlier information, the entire project will cost more than two billion euros. According to Thyssenkrupp, this is the largest DR plant in Germany.
Looking at the competition
In the plant, hydrogen produced in a climate-neutral manner can replace the coal and coke used in classic blast furnaces in order to extract oxygen from the iron ore. Unlike blast furnaces, DR plants do not produce liquid pig iron, but rather solid sponge iron. In order for this to be processed into steel, it first has to be melted down. The facility is expected to help the company achieve a "competitive leadership position in emerging green steel markets."
Classic steel production in coal-based blast furnaces produces very large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. According to earlier information, Thyssenkrupp is responsible for around 2.5 percent of Germany's CO2 emissions, and the German steel industry for a total of around seven percent.
Other steel manufacturers such as Salzgitter and Arcelormittal also want to build direct reduction plants in Germany. DR technology is not yet very widespread worldwide. In the USA, among other places, there is a plant with an annual capacity of 2 million tons. The plant in Duisburg should be able to produce 2.5 million tons of low-CO2 steel per year. A project in northern Sweden, where a new steel mill is to be built using this technology, is currently attracting attention. The SMS Group will also supply the technology there.