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Innovative hybrid concept

As voestalpine, we plan to replace two blast furnaces with two electric arc furnaces, with a further blast furnace at each of the sites in Linz and Donawitz being replaced after 2030.

Technological innovation

Unlike the LD blast furnace route (“Linz-Donawitz process”), which uses coal and coke as reducing agents, the electric arc furnace can be operated without fossil fuels. The EAF uses scrap, liquid pig iron, and HBI (hot briquetted iron), with the mix adjusted according to the specific quality requirements. HBI is manufactured in a so-called direct reduction process, in which natural gas rather than coal and coke is used to reduce iron ore to iron, resulting in fewer CO2 emissions.

Our continually evolving raw material concept will also allow us to manufacture green high-tech steels, such as those already used in the automotive and rail industries, now and in the future.

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.

Groundbreaking ceremony for electric arc furnace (EAF) in Donawitz takes place

For the path to a green future, we have developed an ambitious and feasible step-by-step plan with greentec steel. The traditional groundbreaking ceremony on September 13, 2023 will mark the start of construction work at the Donawitz site and thus the first step towards a green future. This major investment will also have considerable economic effects for the region.

Construction of the electric arc furnace (EAF) will start in 2024, and just three years later the EAF in Donawitz will go into operation and produce around 850,000 tons of CO₂-reduced steel per year in full operation. In contrast to the previous LD process (Linz-Donawitz process), which uses coal and coke as reducing agents, the EAF can be operated without fossil fuels. Depending on quality requirements, a mix of scrap, liquid pig iron and HBI ("Hot Briquetted Iron") is used.

Read more in our Press Release
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
Significant savings of almost 4 million tons of CO₂/year - almost 5% of Austria’s entire annual CO₂ emissions
Highest product quality remains guaranteed
Hybrid concept is the 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

Current research projects

Blog articles on our corporate blog

Further information

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