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Germany's Thyssenkrupp to build DRI plant run on hydrogen for green steel production


DRI plant completed by 2025 at Duisburg site

Duisburg currently accounts for 2% of Germany's CO2 emissions

Green steel production to hit 3 million mt by 2030

New York — German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp is going to build a direct reduced iron plant with an integrated melting unit run on hydrogen and green power at its Duisburg works to produce green steel, the company said August 28.

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The plant is expected to be completed by 2025 and have a capacity of 1.2 million mt a year. If hydrogen is not available in sufficient quantities by then, the plant will be operated using natural gas.

The solid material produced in the direct reduction plant will be liquefied in an integrated melting unit, and the "blast furnace 2.0" will produce "electrical hot metal," processed in the existing metallurgical plant.

Thyssenkrupp has set itself the target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and plans to complete the main part of the plant by 2025 and produce 400,000 mt of green steel. For 2030, the company's target is 3 million mt of green steel.

Thyssenkrupp is Germany's largest steelmaker, and the company's Duisburg steel production site alone accounts currently for 2% of Germany's CO2 emissions.

"The potential for reducing CO2 is also of this magnitude if these emissions can be reduced to zero in the long term," said Thyssenkrupp in a press note.

In the short term, tests are being run using hydrogen in conventional blast furnace operations before the DRI plant is finished.

"We want to supply our customers with CO2-free steel via this green production route -- in the usual grades and across the entire product portfolio. Thyssenkrupp Steel can become the center of the green industrial transition in the Rhine-Ruhr region because we are the starting point of numerous value chains," head of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Bernhard Osburg said in the statement.

Thyssenkrupp is not the only German steelmaker looking into DRI plants. Salzgitter said in June it would be building a DRI plant in Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony, with an annual capacity of 2 million castings a year run on hydrogen. The completion of a feasibility study of the project is planned by end of March 2021.

The German government adopted a hydrogen strategy in early June, which has been welcomed by the steel industry as a driver of the move toward using of hydrogen for steel production.