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Animation of the SALCOS direct reduction plant. In the background is the Salzgitter AG steelworks.
© Salzgitter AG

Steuler Group: Expansion of SALCOS direct reduction plant

Autor: Charlotte Lange

Datum: 09. Mai. 2024

The Steuler Group, based in Höhr-Grenzhausen, produces industrial linings, including fireproof brick linings for a wide range of industrial sectors.

Steuler has now received an order for the fireproof lining of a direct reduction plant for a flagship project in the transformation of the global steel industry towards climate-neutral steel production.


Under the program name SALCOS® (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking), the steel manufacturer Salzgitter AG has been working for years on the question of how hydrogen can be used to produce almost climate-neutral steel. The concept was developed in 2015 and covers the individual steps for providing green steel. Components include the company’s own hydrogen production and the conversion of steel production from blast furnaces to direct reduction, initially natural gas and later hydrogen-based. If there is a complete switch to direct reduction systems, hydrogen can completely replace the carbon previously required for steel production. This reduces the CO2 emissions resulting from steel production by over 95%. The sustainable SALCOS concept is exemplary for the entire industry.
The heart of the forward-looking program, which is funded with one billion euros, is the direct reduction plant, in which up to 1.2 million tons of pig iron will be produced climate-neutrally every year at temperatures of over 1000° C.

Order for the Steuler Group

The Steuler Group, which positioned itself as a technology partner in this segment years ago, has now received the order for the complete fireproof brick lining of this system.

“We are very proud to be able to contribute to the decarbonization of the industry in this way,” says Ulf Frohneberg, business unit manager of the refractory division at Steuler. “This project is considered a benchmark for other similar projects in the global steel industry.”

“Steuler is delivering a total of more than two thousand tons of refractory material to Salzgitter for this new plant. The materials required for this were developed at Steuler in Höhr-Grenzhausen and are constantly being further developed in a specially built, globally unique test apparatus. With this thermal analysis, we are able to simulate our customers’ process conditions one-to-one and thus further develop our materials for specific applications using in-situ analysis,” reports Jens Sperber, the technical manager of refractory production. “This applies both to the gas mixtures of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane that prevail in the process, as well as to the process temperatures and pressures.” Steuler also put a new high-temperature tunnel furnace into operation for the production of these materials last October (we reported) and sees itself positioned for the future with this technology.


(Source: Steuler Group)