“500 new energy efficiency networks by 2020” – that was the goal set by Germany’s federal government in December 2014 in an agreement with industry and trade associations including the Federation of German Steel Industry (Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl).
With the founding of the ESTA (Energieeffizienz mit STAhl) energy efficiency network on 1 June 2017, Saarland’s steel industry is actively supporting this government initiative. The goal is to further strengthen the already numerous activities aimed at reducing energy use.
The supporter of the network, with a term of 3 years, is Saarland’s iron and steelworks association Verband der Saarhütten (VDS). In addition to Saarland’s two major steel companies – AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger) and Saarstahl AG – participants in the ESTA energy efficiency network also include Saarschmiede GmbH Freiformschmiede, ROGESA Roheisengesellschaft Saar mbH and Zentralkokerei Saar GmbH (ZKS).
“The steel industry is an energy-intensive industry, so we are constantly workingto produce in an energy- and resource-efficient way and have been improving energy efficiency for many years now with successful measures. By creating a network specifically for energy efficiency, we want to consolidate numerous activities in this area – and as a result, further intensify them,” Albert Hettrich, President of VDS and Chief Representative of SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar, said of the founding of the network.
One example here is the blast furnace gas power plant operated at the Dillingen site by Dillinger, ROGESA and ZKS, which converts excess blast furnace gases into electricity and thus avoids a considerable amount of electricity production by conventional power plants. At Saarstahl in Burbach, a steam turbine on the walking beam furnace has been retrofitted with an electrical generator that converts excess steam from furnace cooling into electricity, reducing electricity requirements at that site. These are just two examples of many efficiency improvements made in Saarland’s steel industry.