Salzgitter-Flachstahl and Anglo American to cooperate on decarbonizing steel operations

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German flats producer Salzgitter-Flachstahl, part of the Salzgitter group, and Anglo American have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on decarbonizing steel production, the London-headquartered company announced.

The work will include methods to reduce carbon emissions by researching iron ore pellets and lump ores that would be suitable for use in direct reduction steelmaking, Anglo American said in an Aug. 4 announcement.

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“The collaboration may also explore developing broader hydrogen technologies,” the Anglo American release said.

The first step in decarbonizing steel

A spokeswoman for the mining group declined to indicate how the MoU stipulates cooperation or what future prospects could arise from it.

“This is the first step of a broader journey, as such the details of the collaboration are currently being discussed and finalized,” the spokeswoman said in an email to MetalMiner.

Salzgitter-Flachstahl is in northwestern Germany’s Lower Saxony State. The MoU with Anglo American is a part of the steelmaker’s low-carbon program, which foresees replacing its blast furnaces and convertors with directly reduced iron plants and electric arc furnaces (EAF) through 2045.

This would cut Salzgitter-Flachstahl’s carbon footprint by 95%, the flats producer stated.

DRI plants at Salzgitter-Flachstahl also will steadily convert to hydrogen from initially using natural gas for direct reduction to produce the necessary raw material for the EAFs, the company added.

Coil by the numbers

Salzgitter-Flachstahl rolls hot- and cold-rolled coil, using steel produced from three blast furnaces and three basic oxygen furnaces on site.

The plant produced 3.92 million metric tons of crude steel in 2020, down 8.7% from 4.32 million metric tons in 2019, the parent group indicated. Rolled production was 3.21 million metric tons, off by 10% from 3.56 million metric tons, the group stated.

Gauges on the HRC rolled on site are 1.45-25.40 mm, while CRC gauges have a range of 0.5-2 mm, information on the subsidiary’s website indicated. Maximum widths on rolled product is 2,000 mm, information from the parent group stated. Other downstream products include hot-dipped and electrolytic galvanized, prepainted and other coated products that contain anti-corrosive properties.

ArcelorMittal announced in July plans to transition from its BF-BOF route for steelmaking to DRI-EAF at its Dofasco works, in Canada. The Luxembourg-headquartered company also announced in March similar plans for its German plants at Bremen and at ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt.

One industry analyst noted, however, that the DRI-grade iron ore is not in abundance and could thus carry higher prices.

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