Liberty Steel has entered an agreement with Paul Wurth and Stahl-Holding-Saar (SHS) Group, comprised of Dillinger and Saarstahl, to work on a direct-reduced iron (DRI) plant in Dunkerque, France.
The plant will be set up close to GFG’s Alvance aluminum smelter and have an integrated 1 GW hydrogen electrolysis unit. It will produce 2mn mt of DRI and hot-briquetted iron (HBI) using a mix of hydrogen and natural gas as the reductant and move to full hydrogen when the electrolysis unit is completed. The HBI/DRI output will be fed to the Liberty Ascoval’s 500,000mt per year electric-arc furnace with the excess to be distributed among Libetry’s Ostrava and Galati facilities or Dillinger and Saarstahl plants in Germany.
The companies have been working on the initial feasibility of the project since early 2020 and have now signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) after agreeing on the technical and financial aspects. In the next three months (phase 1), the companies will work on details such as the reducing gas mix, hydrogen suppliers, operators and other required equipment for DRI/HBI production. After this, the companies will determine further details for execution of the project.
The use of hydrogen is a way of reducing carbon emissions from steelmaking, a goal that all the three companies are working toward. Liberty Steel aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.