GFG Alliance executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta has signed a series of agreements with the Romanian government, the national gas company Romgaz and a local bank to help implement a clean steel project at the Galati plant.
Green Steel is produced by smelting scrap metal or DRI using natural gas or hydrogen. Scrap metal and /or DRI is smelted in electric arc furnaces, operating where possible with low emissions or renewable energy.
To realize this vision at its Liberty Galati plant in southeastern Romania, GFG Alliance has announced that it will build a 2.5 Mtpa DRI plant over the next three to five years, initially fueled by natural gas, but later using hydrogen as soon as it is produced. the new fuel has become more economical.
During the same period, GFG Alliance also plans to add two electric arc furnaces to significantly reduce emissions and reliance on imported raw materials. Compared to blast furnace steel production, EAFs will reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of steel by up to 80%. Emissions could drop to near zero if DRI’s plant, which will produce feedstock for EAFs, is converted to hydrogen from natural gas, making Galati the first European GFG primary steel plant to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, the company said.
One of the EAFs will be used to cast slabs for the Galati plate mill and the other for direct hot coil casting. The total production capacity of the kilns can reach 4 million tons per year, which is close to what Galati had before the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Back in 2008, the plant produced 4.5 million tons of steel.
Liberty Galati is still the largest metallurgical plant in Romania, although its capacity has since halved to 2 million tons per year, as the plant operates only one blast furnace out of the two that it used more than 10 years ago. It also has three main oxygen furnaces, but does not disclose their capacity and current efficiency for commercial reasons.
Whether these ovens will be shut down after the DRI and EAF units are put into service or integrated into the new layout is unclear at this stage.
Decisions on how and whether they will work with the new plants will be made later, according to a spokesman for the Liberty Steel Group, GFG Alliance’s global steel subsidiary.
He also declined to elaborate on how this reformation would restructure Galati’s raw material mix. “It is too early to comment on the DRI /EAF requirements, while we do not comment on how much raw material we use now and from whom we buy it for commercial reasons,” he said.
Galati manufactures a wide range of flat products (slabs, coils, galvanized and organic coated coils) as well as welded tubular products that ship across the Balkans, Europe and Romania for a variety of industries including shipbuilding, construction, oil and gas, automotive and renewables energy. ,
In addition to signing a memorandum of understanding with the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment providing for the government’s support for GFG’s investment plans, Gupta also signed a memorandum of understanding with the CEO of the Romanian national gas company Romgaz, Adrian Volintiru. This provides the basis for a possible joint venture to build a gas-fired power plant in the area around Liberty Galati, as well as renewable energy units, Romgaz reported.