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Daily press, 2023-05-02, 02:00 pm

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits thyssenkrupp Steel to find out how the transformation at thyssenkrupp Steel is progressing

  • German President Steinmeier visits thyssenkrupp Steel to find out how the transformation to carbon-neutral steel production is progressing
  • thyssenkrupp Steel has launched one of the world's biggest industrial decarbonization projects at the Duisburg location
  • Preparatory measures for construction of the first DR plant being taken according to plan

A high-ranking visitor to thyssenkrupp Steel: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier today visited thyssenkrupp Steel in Duisburg on his tour of industry in the Ruhr region. During a plant tour, he learned how the transformation to carbon-neutral steel production is progressing. The group traveling with the German President included the President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, and the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst.

thyssenkrupp Steel has already started putting the transformation into effect by awarding the contract to build the first direct reduction plant to the SMS group. The plant is scheduled to be built by the end of 2026. This marks the start of one of the biggest industrial decarbonization projects worldwide in Duisburg, which at one stroke will avoid more than 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 per year in the future. The pioneering concept for green steel production now being turned into bricks and mortar at thyssenkrupp Steel, consisting of direct reduction with downstream melting units, is unparalleled in this form. In the DR plant, oxygen is stripped from the iron ore, i.e. the ore is reduced, by the use of hydrogen or natural gas – the latter on a transitional basis. By dispensing with coal, this process offers the prospect of carbon-neutral steelmaking. The reduced material is then melted in the melters to produce high-quality hot metal, which can be processed directly in the steel mills and the downstream units.

Bernhard Osburg, CEO of thyssenkrupp Steel: "Following the award of the contract to SMS, we are moving ahead with implementing the project at pace. There is no alternative to the transformation toward carbon-neutral steelmaking. At the same time, we are providing a globally respected blueprint here in Duisburg for how the steel industry can succeed ecologically, economically and socially in its conversion. We are now expecting the funding we are seeking for our project to be provided promptly, since it is indispensable for starting the transformation."

During his visit, the Federal President took the opportunity to talk to employees and representatives of the workforce.

Chairman of the General Works Council at thyssenkrupp Steel, Tekin Nasikkol: "It is a special honor for us to welcome the President of Germany to Europe's largest steel location today. The switch to carbon-neutral steel production represents an industrial revolution. Green steel stands at the outset of the transformation taking place throughout all of German industry. This path will continue to require political support in the future, because it is a challenge for society as a whole. Our workforce is excited about taking this new path. We are convinced that carbon neutrality can be achieved without deindustrialization. That is what we stand for here in Duisburg."

The program also included a high-profile panel discussion, during which Minister President Hendrik Wüst, Dr. Sopna Sury (COO of RWE Generation), Bernhard Osburg (CEO of thyssenkrupp Steel) and Tekin Nasikkol (Chairman of the General Works Council at thyssenkrupp Steel) discussed the opportunities and challenges of carbon-neutral industry for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Following the visit to thyssenkrupp Steel, the German President moved on to Air Liquide in Oberhausen. There, he learned about the "Trailblazer", the large-scale electrolyzer for producing the renewable hydrogen and oxygen that Air Liquide is currently building at the OQ Chemicals park.

At the day's end, Federal President Steinmeier summed up his visit to the Ruhr region as follows: "thyssenkrupp can look back on a 200-year long tradition of steelmaking. We are now on the threshold of a new technology. Not only at our location, but all over the world, people are thinking about how we can cut CO2 emissions. I am grateful and delighted that the company and its workers here at the Duisburg location have taken the bold decision to go down this path. What matters now is that business leaders and our elected representatives jointly set the right course. I am sure that we can rise to meet the challenges. We have always embraced the future, especially here in the Ruhr region."

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thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 100

47166 Duisburg, Germany

+49 (0)203 52-0

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