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voestalpine Donawitz

The product is made from hydrogen-reduced iron and scrap

Voestalpine AG has produced the world’s first high-quality green wire rod from hydrogen-reduced iron and scrap metal at its Donawitz plant. This is stated in the company’s press release.

The hydrogen-reduced pure iron was produced at Hyfor’s pilot plant, and the landmark smelting was carried out at the Technikum Metallurgie research center, a unique small but fully-fledged metallurgical plant of the group.

Reduced carbon steel is processed at a steel rolling mill to produce wire rod. The products are characterized by special hardness and wear resistance.

«We have already made a successful start on our path to green steel production and are advancing quickly with construction of the two arc furnaces powered by green electricity in Linz and Donawitz. Parallel to this, we are researching various breakthrough technologies with partners from industry and science. The first-ever melting of hydrogen-reduced pure iron and its further processing into high-quality wire rod is a historic milestone,» says Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of voestalpine AG.

Hyfor is a joint research project between Primetals Technologies, voestalpine, Montanuniversität Leoben and K1-MET to investigate the use of hydrogen for the recovery of fines from iron ore. In the future, the resulting sponge iron can be melted down in an electric arc furnace or used to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI).

«The Technikum Metallurgie provides us with an ideal test environment to quickly adapt our steels to the needs of our customers and to changed market requirements. I am very pleased that we are now also doing pioneering work in green steel production and would like to thank all the researchers and employees for their commitment,» added Franz Kainersdorfer, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG.

At the Technikum Metallurgie plant, voestalpine is conducting research to produce new high-performance steels for further processing into special railroad rails, high-quality wire rod and heavy-duty pipes for oil fields.

As GMK Center reported earlier, voestalpine has placed an order with Primetals Technologies for a 180-ton electric arc furnace (EAF) to be installed at its Linz plant, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2027. In September 2023, the company launched a project to build an electric arc furnace at its Donawitz steel mill. Danieli will be responsible for the design, production, and commissioning of the EAF.