Energy efficiency with steel: Verband der Saarhütten and Saarland’s steel industry launch the ESTA energy efficiency network

01 June 2017

“500 new energy efficiency networks by 2020” – that was the goal set by Germany’s federal government in December 2014 in an agreement with industry and trade associations including the Federation of German Steel Industry (Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl). With the founding of the ESTA (Energieeffizienz mit STAhl) energy efficiency network on 1 June 2017, Saarland’s steel industry is actively supporting this government initiative. The goal is to further strengthen the already numerous activities aimed at reducing energy use.

The supporter of the network, with a term of 3 years, is Saarland’s iron and steelworks association Verband der Saarhütten (VDS). In addition to Saarland’s  two major steel companies – AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger) and Saarstahl AG – participants in the ESTA energy efficiency network also include Saarschmiede GmbH Freiformschmiede, ROGESA Roheisengesellschaft Saar mbH and Zentralkokerei Saar GmbH (ZKS).

“The steel industry is an energy-intensive industry, so we are constantly workingto produce in an energy- and resource-efficient way and have been improving energy efficiency for many years now with successful measures. By creating a network specifically for energy efficiency, we want to consolidate numerous activities in this area – and as a result, further intensify them,” Albert Hettrich, President of VDS and Chief Representative of SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar, said of the founding of the network.

One example here is the blast furnace gas power plant operated at the Dillingen site by Dillinger, ROGESA and ZKS, which converts excess blast furnace gases into electricity and thus avoids a considerable amount of electricity production by conventional power plants. At Saarstahl in Burbach, a steam turbine on the walking beam furnace has been retrofitted with an electrical generator that converts excess steam from furnace cooling into electricity, reducing electricity requirements at that site. These are just two examples of many efficiency improvements made in Saarland’s steel industry.

Energy efficiency networks initiative “Initiative Energieeffizienz-Netzwerke
The German government concluded an agreement with industry associations and organizations in December 2014 to initiate and implement around 500 new energy efficiency networks by 2020. This is intended to be an important contribution to achieving Germany’s climate and energy policy goals. Based on experience to date with energy efficiency networks in Germany, the German government believes implementation of 500 additional networks could lead to savings of up to 5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
More information can be found at

Verband der Saarhütten
Verband der Saarhütten (VDS) is a consortium of companies in the steel industry in Saarland together with Buderus Edelstahl GmbH in Hesse and Badische Stahlwerke GmbH in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The 23 member companies employ about 15,100 people (Saarland: around 12,900 people). As a trade and employer association, VDS represents the business and social policy interests of its members and concludes wage agreements with the responsible unions. More information about the association can be found at

SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA
SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA (SHS), founded in 2001, is the management holding company for both of Saarland’s major steel companies. Its central task is to manage business operations and strategy for the Saarland-based steel companies Saarstahl AG (long products including wire and rod) and AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger; heavy plate steel), which operate autonomously and independent of one another in their markets and core processes. A total of around 14,000 employees work under the umbrella of SHS worldwide, generating sales of around EUR 4.5 billion.
For more information:


Antje Otto, Managing Director, VDS
Tel.: +49 681 95434-42, email: 

Ute Engel, Head of Communications, SHS
Tel: +49 6831-47-3011, email: