German steelmaker Salzgitter AG and Italian plant builder Tenova are stepping up their close technical co-operation and have concluded an agreement for the realization of SALCOS® – SALzgitter Low CO2-Steelmaking.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), thereby substantiating their close co-operation in the next steps toward realizing SALCOS®. Conditional on respective funding approvals, Salzgitter AG intends to order a DRI plant from Tenova with an annual capacity of 2.1Mt for the future industrial production of directly reduced sponge iron. The plant will be based on ENERGIRON® technology, jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli.

Tenova has affirmed its interest in the project together with Salzgitter AG andin co-operating closely in future projects in the areas of development, production, installation and construction of plants of this kind.

By signing the MOU, the two companies claim they have reaffirmed their co-operation based on ‘a spirit of partnership’ and their joint determination to start construction work on the first stage of SALCOS® as early as this summer.

“It [the agreement] enables us to be in a position to commence directly with the construction phase for realizing low CO2 steel production, once approval has been given to the public funding requested. SALCOS® secures the future sustainability of Salzgitter as a steel location and the jobs there.”

Gunnar Groebler, CEO, Salzgitter

The SALCOS® project is designed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in steel production and is aimed at achieving a gradual transformation process away from carbon-intensive conventional steel production and toward direct reduction with the flexible and increasing deployment of hydrogen. It is believed that, ultimately, CO2 emissions in the process chain can be reduced by more than 95% and – upon full implementation – avoid 1% of Germany’s entire CO2 emissions.

“Tenova has invested hugely in recent years in developing technologies to substantially reduce energy consumption and improve steel production’s environmental footprint. In this landmark development, hydrogen plays a central role and the SALCOS® concept could become a decisive milestone for our industry.”

Roberto Pancaldi, CEO, Tenova