German plant builder SMS group has acquired the remaining 40.8% of Paul Wurth SA and has become the sole owner of Paul Wurth's plant engineering business.
The 40.8% of shares were owned by the Luxembourg state and state-owned banking organisations, but now the German plant builder is in charge.
The Luxembourg site will now be expanded to become the R&D centre for decarbonisation and recycling within the SMS group, with both companies (SMS and Paul Wurth) pooling their R&D activities with the aim of setting technological standards 'in these forward-thinking fields'.
By combining our competences, we are ensuring that SMS and Paul Wurth will remain synonymous with innovative and sustainable solutions.Georges Rassel, CEO Paul Wurth SA.
The future range of services includes all technologies for reducing CO2-emissions in existing steel mills; hydrogen-based, CO2-free direct reduction of iron ore; and Power-To-X technologies for producing synthetic fuels and downstream products. In addition, the international teams of experts from SMS and Paul Wurth will continue to work on expanding the product and service offering across the entire metals industry process chain.
As part of the transaction, a strategic partnership was also agreed with the University of Luxembourg to strengthen scientific research and development of hydrogen technologies at the Luxembourg site. With financial support from Paul Wurth, the university has already established a chair for energy process technology.
Paul Wurth's real estate activities in Luxembourg will be transferred to a new company in which the Luxembourg public shareholders and SMS will each hold stakes.
“In the coming decades, decarbonizing technologies will replace the traditional blast furnaces and coking plants in integrated steel plants. Therefore, the energy balance at the steel plant will have to be reconsidered and reorganized.Edwin Eichler, chairman, SMS group
Edwin Eichler, chairman of SMS group, commented: “In the coming decades, decarbonizing technologies will replace the traditional blast furnaces and coking plants in integrated steel plants. Therefore, the energy balance at the steel plant will have to be reconsidered and reorganized. Our customers will require fully integrated solutions to bring about this change. Alongside the decarbonization roadmap, efforts will continue in developing digital solutions to establish self-learning processes. This disruption in the global steelmaking market means the time is right for Paul Wurth and SMS Metallurgy to form a single solution provider.”