New special steel plant in Kapfenberg: utilize waste heat, protect the environment! 2 minutes spent reading

New special steel plant in Kapfenberg: utilize waste heat, protect the environment!

Christopher Eberl
Christopher Eberl is editorially responsible for the topics on the blog as well as for the apprentice website. With his stories he provides deep insights into the diverse world of the voestalpine Group.

voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG is already thinking about tomorrow. Construction of the world’s most advanced special steel plant included a new system for recovering heat and utilizing waste heat in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the world’s most advanced special steel plant was held in 2018. From as early as 2021, the plant will produce around 205,000 tons of ultra high-quality special steels each year. This will not only ensure the Group’s technological leadership, but also set new standards in optimizing emissions as well as energy & resource efficiency.

Heat recovery and waste heat as sources of energy

The new design involves installing heat recovery systems on the vacuum AOD converter and electric arc furnace—the technological heart of the plant—which are both located in the melting area. After cooling the exhaust gas pipe, the energy content of the water can then be used to generate up to 12.5 MW of heat. This is achieved by temporarily storing the water in a storage tank before directing it over heat exchangers which extract the heat and feed it into the plant’s own heating network via its boiler room.

Wärme- und Abwärmegewinnung Edelstahlwerk Kapfenberg

Saving 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year

This new process generates even more heat than the new special steel plant itself needs. Feeding around 20,000 MWh of this surplus heat into the public heating network allows the municipality of Kapfenberg to reduce its natural gas consumption, resulting in an annual CO2 reduction of more than 4,000 tons.

Neues Edelstahlwerk Kapfenberg

"We are actively striving to achieve environmentally friendly and purposeful production, paired with the conscientious use of valuable resources. That’s why we placed special emphasis on environmental protection when planning our new special steel plant. Air and wastewater treatment plants are state-of-the-art, meeting the most stringent environmental regulations. High-capacity heat recovery systems also help reduce emissions."
Michael Ebner, Head of Environment & Investments at voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl
Christopher Eberl