Salzgitter AG, industrial partners Rhenus and Uniper, the Federal State of Lower Saxony and the City of Wilhelmshaven commissioned a feasibility study at the end of June for the construction of a direct reduction of iron ore (DRI) plant with an upstream hydrogen electrolyzer at the deep water port of Wilhelmshaven.
The project organization under the leadership of Salzgitter AG, headed by Dr.-Ing. Peter Juchmann, was already established back in July. Expert teams from the cooperation partners will now set about investigating technical, commercial and logistics issues and exchange their views in weekly conferences.
The results of the study are scheduled for presentation at the end of March 2021.
If the findings of the feasibility study are successful, the joint implementation of the project has been planned as the next step. The target envisaged is to produce two million tons of directly reduced iron castings per year that will be dispatched by rail to Salzgitter and processed there into high-grade, environmentally compatible strip steel products in Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH’s integrated steelworks.
The direct reduction of iron ore to iron through hydrogen generated by harnessing electricity from renewable sources is at the heart of the SALCOS (SAlzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) concept. This concept entails the possibility of reducing CO2 emissions produced in the manufacturing of steel by up to 95 percent. In the initial phase, CO2 emissions could already be significantly reduced by deploying natural gas. The region of Wilhelmshaven offers good locational conditions for realizing a concept of this kind.