At the Duisburg site, ArcelorMittal has taken the next step towards CO2-reduced steel production with a second ladle furnace. This complements the first ladle furnace which has been in operation in Duisburg since 1991. The investment amounts to a total of 11.8 million euros. The company will receive a grant of 3.3 million euros from the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) as part of the "Federal Promotion of Energy and Resource Efficiency in Industry" program.
Higher scrap input in melting process
In the production process, the ladle furnace is used to introduce energy into the melt in order to increase the amount of scrap used in steel production. In contrast to the first ladle furnace, longer treatment times in the new ladle furnace allow more energy to be introduced into the 150-ton melt.
"The additional heating capacity allows us to increase the scrap content, which serves as a coolant in the converter," says Sebastian Schmuck, secondary metallurgy plant manager at ArcelorMittal in Duisburg and project manager.
An increased scrap content has a positive effect on the CO2 balance of the process, as CO2 emissions in steel production depend to a large extent on the proportion of pig iron. CO2 emissions from the second ladle furnace are thus reduced by a total of 57,000 tons per year.
Even after the planned technology changeover to an electric arc furnace (EAF), the new ladle furnace will still be used to heat the molten steel. As part of the transformation strategy, an EAF (electric arc furnace) is to be built at the Duisburg site in a few years' time and the site will be supplied with green sponge iron (DRI) from Hamburg. The aim is to convert one million tons of steel per year from the previous CO2-intensive blast furnace production to low-CO2 production with sponge iron and electric arc furnace.
Startup of ladle furnace
From November 2023, second ladle furnace is to be installed in ongoing production. Commissioning is scheduled for April 2024.
"The second ladle furnace will not only make it possible to save CO2, but we will also be able to present a more stable, less failure-prone and more flexible production route," Schmuck explains.