German Federal Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze promised to increase budget funding for decarbonization projects in the German steel industry. She stated this during a visit to the new thyssenkrupp Steel complex in Duisburg.
“Industry has used coal to make steel for over 200 years. We are helping to move towards hydrogen production from wind and solar energy in the future. Restructuring the steel industry is a huge challenge. The German government will not leave the steel industry alone in the process of transformation. My ministry is offering specific support for climate investment through the Decarbonization Financing Program. By increasing funds for climate protection contracts, we will be able to support the industry with even higher operating costs in order to ensure the safety of investments in technologies after fossil fuels, ”said Svenja Schulze.
The steel industry, which generates about 58 million tonnes of CO 2 , generates about 6% of CO 2 emissions in Germany and faces huge challenges in the transition to neutralization of greenhouse gases. The German metallurgical industry and the Federal Ministry of the Environment expect a breakthrough from the transition to the so-called direct reduction systems operating on hydrogen, which are intended to replace blast furnaces.
According to thyssenkrupp technologists, the steel industry has a decisive competitive advantage over other industries: it can use natural gas during the transition to transformation for the direct reduction of iron ore. As a transition technology in the steel industry, natural gas can already save a lot of CO 2 emissions. The direct reduction process using natural gas is half as pure as blast furnace steel. However, in the medium to long term, natural gas will have to be replaced with green hydrogen.