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voestalpine climate protection strategy

Environmental statement 2019

For decades voestalpine has been regarded as the environmental and efficiency benchmark for the industry. The group has invested hugely in environmental and climate protection over the past decade– around EUR 2.3 billion–as well as initiating research into alternative manufacturing processes, as a means of helping to achieve climate neutrality.

A green future

voestalpine is already working at full speed at its sites in Linz and Donawitz to develop technical scenarios which will further advance decarbonization of the steel production process. In a next significant intermediate stage, partial replacement of the existing blast furnace route with a hybrid-electric steel pathway could reduce CO2 emissions by around a third by 2030. This is a massive step forwards compared to the technologies used today, and would help to avoid around 3 to 4 million tons of CO2 emissions in Austria.

Herbert Eibensteiner, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG

voestalpine is fully committed to the global climate goals and to extensive decarbonization.

Herbert Eibensteiner, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG

voestalpine is clearly committed to the global climate goals

At the same time, the voestalpine Group is also intensively researching into so-called breakthrough technologies for steel production, in order to replace coal with CO2-neutral hydrogen as a source of energy over the long term. Its research projects include not only the EU’s flagship H2FUTURE project at the site in Linz, which is investigating the feasibility of producing and exploiting “green” hydrogen on an industrial scale, but also the testing facilities at the site in Donawitz for CO2-neutral steel production achieved by directly reducing ores using hydrogen. Added to this, research is also being undertaken into ways of using hydrogen to convert CO2 into exploitable raw materials.

Long-term decarbonization strategy

However, the primary prerequisite for decarbonizing steel production (achieved through a hybrid technology using electric arc furnaces, as well as a long-term technological transformation based on green hydrogen) is the availability of sufficient quantities of renewable energy at commercially realistic prices. This is the only way in which tomorrow’s technologies can be applied in a truly competitive manner.

More on this topic on our Corporate Blog

Hydrogen pilot plant H2FUTURE

H2FUTURE is an EU-funded project to determine whether the industrial production of green hydrogen can replace fossil fuels in steel production in the long term. To this end, the currently world's largest pilot plant for CO2-free production of green hydrogen in the steel industry was built at the voestalpine site in Linz. In addition to voestalpine, VERBUND, Siemens, Austrian Power Grid, K1-MET and TNO are partners in the project. The electrolysis plant has a connected load of six megawatts and is currently regarded as the most efficient and modern of its kind. It will be used to test whether the technology used is suitable for large-scale industrial production of green hydrogen.

More information about the H2FUTURE hydrogen pilot plant