LIBERTY Ostrava has signed a contract with Danieli, a global manufacturer of plant and machinery, for the delivery of two hybrid electric arc furnaces at the centre of Ostrava’s GREENSTEEL transformation plan.
The EUR$350 million investment will be the largest investment in the steelworks for a generation, and is a huge step forward in LIBERTY Ostrava’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The new furnaces, the first of their kind in Europe, will have a combined capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per annum and will reduce the overall CO2 emissions of the Ostrava steelworks by more than 80 per cent by 2027.
The two 200 tonne furnaces use the patented Danieli QONE power electronics technology to control arc current and voltage for a more efficient and stable power delivery to the furnaces. This will allow the furnaces to be more flexible in the charge mix from large quantities of Hot Metal and Direct Reduced Iron (DRI/HBI) and up to 100 per cent scrap in the second phase of the project.
In doing so, the plant will reduce its reliance on imported coal and iron ore and provide even greater production flexibility. The new furnaces are expected to be operational in 2025 and will be able to melt 100 per cent scrap in 2027 following the planned installation of a 400kV electricity line into the Ostrava steelworks.
LIBERTY has also launched the tender process for similar hybrid electric arc furnaces for Ostrava’s sister plant LIBERTY Galati, Romania, as it too transforms to GREENSTEEL technologies and the group targets 10 million tonnes of GREENSTEEL capacity in Europe over the next five years.
“This is the largest investment in Ostrava for a generation and the start of a major transformation across Europe as we move away from older polluting production methods to the latest lower carbon production technologies,” LIBERTY Steel Group executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said.
“This will not only make us a cleaner and more sustainable producer but also a more responsive and dynamic player in the market. Our investment shows our long-term commitment to the workforce here at Ostrava, the local community and the future generations that will come to work in what will be a modern, clean steel plant.”
Danielli chief executive officer, Giacomo Mareschi Danieli, said the company is delighted to be the technology provider for a project that marks a milestone in European steelmaking history.
“The two new 200 tonne hybrid electric arc furnaces, known as Danieli Digi Melter (DDM), will incorporate the latest design and technological packages in the field of electric arc furnace melting to ensure the lowest CO2 and NOx emissions, whilst also providing a significant improvement in liquid steel conversion costs, thereby improving the competitiveness of the LIBERTY Ostrava plant,” Danieli said.
According to Danieli, a suite of technological packages that automate tasks will move operators away from hazardous exposure to liquid steel.
“This contract is an excellent example that decarbonisation does not mean a threat, but rather an opportunity for improvement,” he said. “The new hybrid furnaces will be more efficient, produce high quality steel at a lower cost, with significantly lower emissions. This is an investment for the future of LIBERTY Steel alongside the future of the planet.”