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Blueprint for decarbonization of industry. Engine of the European hydrogen economy. An important decision for climate change mitigation and for Germany as an industrial center.

The 100% hydrogen-capable direct reduction plant with two melters has a production capacity of 2.5 million metric tons of directly reduced iron per year. It is the first plant combination of its kind in the world with this technological concept. This will make thyssenkrupp Steel a pioneer in the decarbonization of the steel value chain in Europe and, among other things, guarantee indispensable specialty materials for the success of the energy and mobility revolution.

Demonstration model DR plant

An important step for the transformation of the steel industry: construction of the first hydrogen-based direct reduction plant at the Duisburg site with a capacity of 2.5 million metric tons of directly reduced iron (DRI), and an annual saving of up to 3.5 million metric tons of CO2.

Construction of the plant on an EPC basis (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) by the SMS group.

Grafik DR-Anlage
Pellet and raw material store

The essential raw material, iron ore in the form of pellets, for the direct reduction process is stored in the direct reduction plant's pellet and raw material store. The store is designed to provide a continuous supply to the plant to ensure seamless running of the direct reduction process.

Direct reduction plant

The direct reduction tower is the central unit of a reduced-CO2 steel production plant that replaces the conventional blast furnace processes. This tower is where the direct reduction of iron from iron ore takes place with the help of reduction gases such as hydrogen (H2). The result is solid, spheroidal iron that is liquefied in the melters before further processing in the steel mill.


The process gas required for the reduction is generated in the reformer.

The reduction gas is reformed at high temperatures from a variable mixture of hydrogen, natural gas and process gases.


The melter, also known as Submerged Arc Furnace (SAF), is characterized by its use of a melting process in which the metal is melted openly in a bath, as opposed to closed melting furnaces such as the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). The SAF enables efficient melting and thus plays an important role in metallurgy. In addition, the slag produced in the melting process can be further processed into granulated blast furnace sand, and used as a valuable raw material in the cement industry.

Casting hall and hot metal removal

The casting hall is the area where the molten hot metal from the melter is poured into what are called transport ladles, which in turn are transported to the actual BOF meltshop for further processing.

Slag granulation

Slag granulation is a process used in the steel industry to process the slag generated during steelmaking. In the process, the hot molten slag is quickly cooled and granulated. The blast furnace slag produced in this way can be used as a valuable raw material in the cement industry.

Sustainable steel production

that saves up to 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 in the first step alone.

Away from iron ore reduction by carbon in the blast furnace. Towards hot metal production through the use of hydrogen in the direct reduction plant and with the help of newly developed melters in the direct reduction plant. A gigantic conversion job which will save up 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 in steel production in the first stage alone. This corresponds to about 2% of the emissions in North Rhine-Westphalia.

But this is just the beginning. By 2045 at the latest, we will be producing carbon-neutral steel at the Duisburg site. To put it in context: With the conventional steelmaking process in our blast furnaces, we are responsible for 20 million metric tons of CO2 per year, and thus for around 2.5% of Germany's CO2 burden. With the new plant, we are already replacing one blast furnace.

With its highly ambitious project, the company is showing that it is possible to decarbonize the steel sector, the largest industrial CO2 emitter in Germany, through the consistent use of hydrogen.

Dr. Robert Habeck, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection
From 2029 onward, we will need 143,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year to operate the DR plant. This amount is equivalent to filling the Oberhausen gasometer every two hours.

Sustainable steel

that will accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy.

The need for carbon-neutral hydrogen is just as huge as the task of converting our hot metal production. The direct reduction plant will require more hydrogen every two hours than will fit in the Oberhausen gasometer, for example.

Being able to sell such unimaginably large quantities of hydrogen means that European hydrogen manufacturers can now invest massively with great planning certainty. As one of the very important customers in the future, we are thus accelerating the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy.

With the tkH2Steel transformation concept, the hydrogen era has already dawned at thyssenkrupp Steel: We will switch the hot metal production process from coal to hydrogen from 2027, enabling us to save up to 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year with our first direct reduction plant. We will need enormous quantities of hydrogen for this: This direct reduction plant will require more hydrogen every two hours than will fit in the Oberhausen gasometer - so we now need a rapid hydrogen ramp-up and a well-developed hydrogen infrastructure. With the "tkH2Steel" project, thyssenkrupp Steel is becoming a driver of the European hydrogen economy and thus an anchor point for investments in the rapid development of a cross-border hydrogen infrastructure.

Dr. Arnd Köfler, CTO thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG
Sustainable steel that secures jobs and prosperity.

Sustainable steel

that secures jobs and prosperity.

We are strengthening our industrial base and securing attractive jobs in the region – 26,000 directly in the company, 150,000 in downstream industries in North Rhine-Westphalia, while nationwide there are as many as four million jobs in steel-intensive sectors. Our transformation will lead to a large number of new career profiles, make for a qualification boost and create jobs with a secure future.

To put it briefly: we will not only maintain the quality standards of our steel grades. Employees in our plants, at suppliers and processors also stand to benefit from this – both in the Ruhr region and beyond. This means our steel is the starting point for the industrial value chain of the future, the success of the turnaround in energy and climate policy, and for lots of high-quality jobs in Germany and throughout Europe.

By investing in the green transformation, we are securing the future of steel production and the associated jobs here in Duisburg at Europe's largest steel location and all other sites.

Markus Grolms, CHRO thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

Service area

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Press Releases

Robert Habeck, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection visits thyssenkrupp: thyssenkrupp Steel to receive federal and state government funding totaling around two billion euros


Mark Stagge

Head of Public & Media Relations, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

Telephone: +49 203 52-25159

Fax: +49 203 52-25707

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thyssenkrupp Steel Europe

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