Sustainable steel production

Our path to carbon-neutral steel production: “proactive, carbon-free, efficient”

The companies of the SHS Group, which include Dillinger and Saarstahl, are firmly committed to the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. In their comprehensive approach to sustainability, Dillinger and Saarstahl acknowledge their responsibility for current and future generations of employees and stakeholders, and they aim to manufacture steel products in the most modern and sustainable way. Dillinger and Saarstahl support this strategic approach with a long-term environmental policy that has included investments to improve environmental protection and efficiency totaling EUR 700 million over the last 15 years. 

Responsibility for the future

The ongoing strategy process in our companies is in line with the motto “proactive, carbon-free, efficient”. Dillinger and Saarstahl have defined specific steps in the strategy for the complete conversion of their production to “green steel” and thus for the transformation to carbon-neutral steel production. This transformation is to take place in 3 key steps: The existing blast furnace route will gradually be replaced with innovative new processes. In these new processes, coal will be replaced as a reducing agent with alternative and environmentally friendly raw materials such as natural gas – as a bridging technology – and hydrogen, to continuously reduce carbon emissions. For these processes – electric furnaces and direct reduction plants –  sufficient green electricity or green hydrogen and the associated infrastructure must ultimately be made available.

All systems go for the green transformation

In summer 2020, hydrogen was used for the first time in Germany as a reducing agent in regular operation at our blast furnaces in Dillingen: as a result, the new coke gas injection plant will now lead to noticeable reductions in carbon emissions at Dillinger and Saarstahl. Thus, until the conversion to new technologies is possible and completed, the conditions are already in place today for operating blast furnaces in the future with hydrogen and, if available, with green hydrogen within the framework of technical possibilities.

As you know, for the next major steps in the complete transformation, it is essential for reliable political framework conditions to be in place for support and for sufficient green energy at competitive prices. Not least in order to provide our customers with the green steel they want at competitive prices.

With our “proactive, carbon-free, efficient” strategy, we aim to be producing carbon-neutral steel by no later than 2050. As described above, achieving the complete transformation will require large investments in new facilities and new infrastructure. As a consequence, this will also be associated with commensurately high production costs over a period of at least 10 years.  We believe that the green transformation is possible and that we can already achieve significant carbon savings by 2035.

Climate protection needs steel

Steel is indispensable for the environmental restructuring of industry and for achieving the energy and mobility transformation. Dillinger and Saarstahl are already supplying economical and sustainable solutions for these megatrends – in on- and offshore wind turbines, hydroelectric power plants, photovoltaic systems, electric cars, trains and tracks, and much more.

We want to pursue this path to carbon-neutral production together with you as our customers! Here in the Saar region, we have more than 400 years of experience in manufacturing state-of-the-art products from steel. We would like to have you at our side, so that the cleanest steel industry continues to have a future in Germany and Europe. Europe needs a green steel industry to make the Green Deal a success. This requires a fair framework for trade, fair climate protection conditions and the political framework conditions described above so that we can produce green steel “proactively, carbon-free and efficiently”!