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Innovative hybrid concept

As voestalpine, we plan to gradually switch from the coal-based blast furnace route to a green electricity-based electric steel route starting in 2027. This switch alone can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from steel production at the two voestalpine sites by around 30%. This corresponds to a saving of around 3 to 4 million tons of CO2 per year, or almost 5% of Austria's CO2 emissions.

Technological innovation

This is made possible by a fundamental technological innovation: In addition to scrap and liquid pig iron, Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) is used. HBI is produced in a direct reduction process in which iron ore is reduced to iron using natural gas rather than coal and coke, resulting in lower CO₂ emissions.

The raw material concept, which is constantly being further developed by voestalpine will also enable the production of green high-tech steels in the future. Steels, such as those already used in the automotive and railway industries.

Progress through innovation

For the development of a process that can be implemented on a large scale to support CO₂-neutral steel production without the use of fossil carbon, voestalpine has received the protective right from the European Patent Office. Specifically, the patent covers the production of sponge iron (DRI or HBI) in a direct reduction process using green hydrogen and biogas.

Read more on our blog
Gradual shift from coal-based blast furnace route to steel production using green electricity
As of 2027, two electric arc furnaces at the sites in Linz and Donawitz site should commence operations
Rapid and significant CO₂ savings of 3 to 4 million tons of CO₂/year
Highest product quality remains guaranteed
Basis for achieving the hydrogen-based transformation by 2050

Direct reduction as a bridging technology

Direct reduction is an important bridging technology for decarbonizing steel production. It reduces iron ore to iron with natural gas, rather than coal and coke, resulting in fewer CO2 emissions. The direct reduction process is used to produce HBI, a sophisticated and environmentally friendly pre-material used in steel production.

Discover more about direct reduction

The hybrid technology would allow the CO2 emitted during steel production at Linz and Donawitz to be significantly reduced, by around 30%. This represents an annual saving of 3 to 4 million tons of CO2.

The hybrid concept is the basis for achieving the hydrogen-based transformation by 2050.

Current research projects

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