Michael Kretschmer, Minister President of Saxony, and Giuseppe Pasini, President of the Italian Feralpi Group, as well as around 100 invited guests were present at the commissioning of the first phase of FERALPI STAHL's scrap processing plant. Scrap processing is an essential part of efficiently producing reinforcing steel products for the construction industry from scrap. In this process, the scrap is crushed, cleaned and prepared in lumpier form so that this raw material can be melted even more efficiently into steel in the electric arc furnace. Other materials are also recycled in this process. An enclosure for the plant provides improved noise and emission protection for local residents.
Investment of more than 220 million euros
Phase one of scrap processing at the Riesa site has so far taken almost 20 million euros and two years. This is an important building block on the path to green steel, as the steel production process is also optimized through effective processing and cleaning of the raw material scrap. Resource conservation, material efficiency, energy efficiency and reduction of waste products are the decisive factors. However, the project is far from over with the inauguration on September 15th, but represents an important prerequisite and adjustment screw on the way to green steel. The ambitious goal after the completion of phases two and three is a completely automated process for feeding the electric arc furnace at Riesa Feralpi Group location.
“As a society, we are facing a turning point. If we fail to further reduce our CO₂ emissions, we will neither be able to stop nor slow down climate change. Due to the steel industry's high share of total emissions, the transformation of our industry is an enormous lever. We are aware of this responsibility and are therefore investing more than 220 million euros at our location in Riesa in the coming years. “These are the most extensive construction projects since the current steelworks were built in 1992. A large part of this will flow directly or indirectly into decarbonization measures, such as the construction of a new emission-free rolling mill, which is scheduled to be completed in 2024,” explains Giuseppe Pasini, President the Feralpi group.
wishes for politics
The steel industry currently causes 30 percent of all CO₂ emissions in the industrial sector in Germany. In order to achieve the reduction targets, the industry must save 26 million tonnes of CO₂ by 2030. FERALPI STAHL in Riesa is a steelworks on the secondary route - the steel is produced in a cycle using almost 100 percent scrap. This valuable raw material is melted down in the electric arc furnace. Compared to the primary route with blast furnaces, the CO₂ emissions of the secondary route are only around a quarter at around 500 kilograms per ton of steel produced. This means that electric steel production is already much lower in emissions - but further decarbonization and the transformation towards completely green steel production are central topics for the entire Feralpi Group. But the company cannot handle the herculean task of decarbonization alone. The steel producer also sees politics as having a duty.
“Currently, the subsidies at federal and state levels are flowing almost exclusively to steelworks on the primary route, while the electrical steelworks are left with almost nothing. In order to produce green steel, it is not just about reusing existing resources as part of a functioning circular economy - as is the case with our scrap processing. We need base-load green electricity and a connection to green hydrogen in order to continue to sustainably reduce our natural gas consumption. There is still a long way to go, but we continue to see our future in Germany – here in Riesa,” says Uwe Reinecke, Director of FERALPI STAHL at the Riesa site.
“Germany and Europe need a strong and competitive steel industry. Saxony supports this as a member of the Alliance of Steel Countries. FERALPI STAHL has been successfully relying on environmentally friendly steel production for years and is a pioneer in the use of green hydrogen. The commissioning of scrap processing is another important future investment in the Riesa location and an excellent example of an efficient circular economy with fewer CO2 emissions. Innovations and ecological transformation are the foundations for a successful future for the steel industry. “In this way, energy-intensive companies like FERALPI STAHL need support that is open to technology and reliable framework conditions, especially competitive energy prices,” emphasizes Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer.