Our direct reduction ironmaking plant is the world's first direct reduction plant (DRI plant) flexibly operated with hydrogen and natural gas in an integrated steel mill.
Direct reduction enables us to avoid the generation of CO2 in steel production from the outset ("carbon direct avoidance" strategy) and is therefore a significant sub-step of the SALCOS® project.
Our innovative plant offers both the option of the already established operation with natural gas and the sustainable direct reduction with 100% hydrogen. It has been proven that we can reduce our CO2-emissions in crude steel production by up to 95% with direct reduction plants.
We are investing €13.6 million in the construction of the μDRAL plant. The German government's environmental innovation program is supporting us with a 40% subsidy. This program promotes innovative technical processes that contributes to reduce the burden on the environment. In the last 10 years, for example, 1,021 thousand metric tons of CO2 have already been saved by the plants supported by the environmental innovation program.
In direct reduction, iron ore is converted into sponge iron with the aid of a reducing agent. Instead of CO2, this technology produces water, which in turn is further used in the integrated process. With our direct reduction plant, we can use both natural gas and hydrogen flexibly in different proportions (0% - 100%) as reducing agents. It offers us the possibility of gradually reducing the natural gas content in the process and ultimately replacing it completely with hydrogen. This will enable us to reduce our CO2 emissions by 30% with just our first direct reduction plant.
We are laying the foundation for a secure supply of electrolytically produced green hydrogen with the WindH2 and GrInHy2.0 subprojects.
For all sub-projects of the SALCOS® concept, we cooperate with different specialists. Our partner in project planning and implementation, as well as the technological supplier of the µDRAL plant, is Tenova, an international manufacturer of plants for the metals and mining industries.
Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH provides the necessary infrastructure and takes over the operation of the plant.