Press Release

Saving energy and increasing efficiency with ESTA

28 May 2020

The energy efficiency network ESTA (“Energieeffizienz mit Stahl”) has posted positive results after its three-year duration: Saarstahl, Dillinger and the affiliated companies achieved energy savings of roughly 29,500 megawatt hours per year. This amounts to an annual reduction of carbon emissions of approx. 11,750 metric tons.

ESTA is one of the energy efficiency networks established in Germany on the initiative of the federal government and leading associations. Dillinger and Saarstahl have participated in the energy efficiency network, which was founded in 2017, together with the subsidiaries Saarschmiede GmbH Freiformschmiede, ROGESA Roheisengesellschaft Saar mbH (ROGESA) and Zentralkokerei Saar GmbH (ZKS). The network is supported by the VDS (Verband der Saarhütten) iron and steelworks association.

Successful energy management with ESTA

Environmentally conscious operation and resource conservation are integral components of the SHS Group corporate culture. “We take our responsibility to the climate and the environment very seriously,” said Chairman of the Management Board Tim Hartmann. “This includes active and ecological management that plans for the future as well as future-focused investments in environmental protection measures and projects. With ESTA, we are helping to save energy in important ways.”

Within the framework of ESTA, 100 SHS Group employees worked in eight energy teams to study the savings potential of all processes within the companies. Energy savings amounting to 29,500 megawatt hours per year were identified and implemented. This equals roughly 17,000 times the average annual consumption of a German single-person household. Numerous individual projects contribute to the annual energy savings, including cogeneration, use of waste heat for parallel processes and reductions in standby and auxiliary times.

“The ESTA energy efficiency network has been a complete success,” said Albert Hettrich, President of the VDS (Verband der Saarhütten) iron and steelworks association and Chief Representative of SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar. “ESTA was a key project in this area. With the founding of the network, the existing activities in the companies could be consolidated and further expanded.”

Dillinger and Saarstahl invest sustainably in environmental protection

Saarstahl and Dillinger remain focused on continuously improving the energy efficiency and energy effectiveness of their own systems and processes, even after the ESTA term has expired. This will further reduce energy consumption and sustainably conserve resources. The energy savings identified by ESTA will be further increased with future-focused investments in environmental protection amounting to €70 million.

One lighthouse project is the construction of a coke gas injection plant. For the first time, the companies are using hydrogen as the main component of coke gas to reduce carbon emissions. Another important project is the construction of a new dust collection system for the circular coolers at the sinter plant, which aims to significantly reduce dust in this area. Both projects are already being implemented and will be completed on schedule in summer 2020.

"We in the steel industry are committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and are already pressing ahead with many investments in our plants and in environmental protection,” said Tim Hartmann. “For the further transformation needed to produce carbon-free steel, reliable political framework conditions and instruments to assist decarbonization now urgently need to be defined. The existing Steel Action Plan offers a good basis for this and must be implemented by the German government and the EU to create sustainable prospects for investment and transformation for the industry, especially in these currently difficult times.”

About the energy efficiency networks initiative

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 the 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.

An important project for environmental protection continues the ESTA project.

Construction of the dust collection system for the circular coolers of the sinter plant.

SHS - Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA (SHS), which was founded in 2001, is the management holding of the two large Saarland-based steel companies. Dillinger is a worldwide leader in the production of heavy plates made of steel for steel construction, mechanical engineering, off-shore, offshore-windpower and the linepipe sector. Saarstahl is a globally leading manufacturer of rod and bar steel for the automotive industry, the construction industry and general machinery. Around 13,500 employees work within SHS and generate a turnover totaling around 4.5 billion euros.