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Donawitz: the team behind greentec steel

Donawitz: the team behind greentec steel

The entire project team is already caught up in the excitement of greentec steel, and not just in Linz. As part of Austria’s largest climate protection program and voestalpine’s most extensive investment project to date, a fresh, green steel wind is now also blowing at the site in Donawitz. It is a megaproject, one that keeps the project team on their toes.

Group photo groundbreaking ceremony greentec steel Donawitz
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The dimensions of the greentec steel project in Donawitz are immense: the construction areas alone are roughly equal in size to 10 football pitches (75,000 m2). Its scale makes it the largest investment project implemented at the site to date. Apart from organization and structure, it is the team spirit and cooperation which are key to the success of such a gigantic undertaking.

Independent under a single roof

It was back in September 2020 that the pre-project for greentec steel in Donawitz started; in March 2023 the investment was finally approved, laying the foundations for the implementation phase. Since then, the program team of around 100 internal and external experts has been rolling up their sleeves and getting down to work. The electric arc furnace (EAF) is scheduled to go into operation as early as 2027. Due to its complexity, significance, and long-term nature, the program is divided into a total of eleven implementation projects, covering infrastructure, EAF, and logistics.

Each project runs independently, with its own project management and specialists. In the program, key interfaces between the individual projects are coordinated, and uniform communication, reporting, and documentation structures are defined. Overarching management, support, and central functions are also involved. In addition to around 22 members of the core team, the program also includes the extended core team consisting of construction, steel construction, electrical engineering, and automation managers at the site. “From the program clients and specialists to the external colleagues amongst our partners and suppliers: each team member plays a vital role and is key to the success of the project,” explains Mario E., Plant Manager.

There can be no fruitful project landscape without a functioning team. The team members are the key figures when it comes to ensuring the positive conclusion of the project.

Alfred W.
greentec steel Program Manager
Group photo greentec steel in front of the banner our path to a green future

Communication: keep talking to each other

The tight schedule requires close cooperation, flexibility, and pragmatism. That means the program team, the project heads, and their colleagues in operations are in constant dialog, whether in the form of regular, structured meetings, or over a quick cup of coffee, as required. With such a comprehensive innovation, it is also essential to involve specialists at the plant, such as process technicians, electrical and mechanical maintenance employees, and workplace safety professionals.

The team finds the optimal balance between involving ongoing operations and avoiding adding burdens to daily work processes. That makes it particularly important for the program team to prepare the topics properly so that the decision-making processes are as simple as possible. Knowledge is exchanged beyond the borders of the Donawitz site, as the team are in permanent contact with their colleagues in Linz. Overarching communication and always being ready to listen are also key factors in the success of such a major project, Alfred W. and Mario E. are convinced.

Our task is to ensure team cohesion through understanding, openness, and careful interactions. Mutual support is what really matters, especially in view of the long project duration

Alfred W.
Program Head greentec steel

That’s why it is hugely important to us to uphold a culture of cooperation in the program. This also includes proactively asking colleagues where they currently need help

Mario E.
Steel mill manager

Ready for the future of steel production

The greentec steel team in Donawitz is currently in the midst of the intensive layouting process. Preparing the construction area and procurement are both in full swing, and the next milestones are just ahead. “The entire project team is highly motivated and is doing its best to stick to the goals and schedules. You can feel the pride and joy of being part of this project,” explains Alfred W. It is an observation that Mario E. shares: “We are shaping the future with greentec steel and the technology transition it heralds. It is truly a privilege to be part of such an important project.”

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Austria's biggest climate protection program

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voestalpine AG

voestalpine AG

Die voestalpine ist ein weltweit führender Stahl- und Technologiekonzern mit kombinierter Werkstoff- und Verarbeitungskompetenz. Die global tätige Unternehmensgruppe verfügt über rund 500 Konzerngesellschaften und -standorte in mehr als 50 Ländern auf allen fünf Kontinenten. Sie notiert seit 1995 an der Wiener Börse. Mit ihren Premium-Produkt- und Systemlösungen zählt sie zu den führenden Partnern der Automobil- und Hausgeräteindustrie sowie der Luftfahrt- und Öl- & Gasindustrie und ist darüber hinaus Weltmarktführer bei Bahninfrastruktursystemen, bei Werkzeugstahl und Spezialprofilen. Die voestalpine bekennt sich zu den globalen Klimazielen und verfolgt mit greentec steel einen klaren Plan zur Dekarbonisierung der Stahlproduktion.