Germany’s first hydrogen-based steel plant using a blast furnace begins operations in Dillingen. The € 14 million investment has enabled Dillinger and Saarstahl to further reduce their carbon emissions and create the conditions for the practical use of green hydrogen. The new plant in Dillingen is the first plant in Germany to use hydrogen as a reducing agent in a blast furnace during normal operation. This is achieved by injecting hydrogen rich coke oven gas. Saarstahl and Dillinger CEO Tim Hartmann said: “We are ready for the transition to sustainable steel. This investment confirms that Saarstahl and Dillinger are ready to take the next big steps towards sustainable steel production. ”
The use of hydrogen in steelmaking is a key factor in reducing carbon emissions. The coke oven gas injection system is an important step towards green steel production and resource minimization. Blast furnace carbon emissions can be reduced by replacing the blast furnace carbon with hydrogen as a reducing agent and energy source. This means that the conditions have now been created for the future operation of blast furnaces, as far as technically possible, on green hydrogen. A precondition for this, as well as for the complete conversion of our steel production to hydrogen based on other technologies such as electric furnaces and direct reduction hydrogen plants, is the availability of green hydrogen in the future in Saarland in sufficient quantities and on competitive terms.
Regardless, companies are implementing major new energy efficiency projects and are constantly investing in optimizing existing factories. Dillinger and Saarstahl, for example, have invested a total of € 70 million in the environment over the past two years.