Steel News

Salzgitter Flachstahl Wins Energy Efficiency Prize

11/25/2013 - Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH (SZFG) has been awarded first prize under the Energy Efficiency Award 2013 by the Deutsche Energie Agentur GmbH (dena).
Of the 87 applications from 11 countries, SZFG took first place with its "Strategy to improve energy efficiency and optimize electricity generation" project. The prize was awarded at the dena Energy Efficiency Congress that took place on 25 and 26 November 2013 in Berlin.
Salzgitter Flachstahl, Salzgitter AG's largest company, has implemented a total of 118 different energy efficiency measures, thereby achieving significant energy and cost savings as well as substantially reducing CO2 emissions. Many of the measures are highly innovative and can be transferred to other industrial enterprises.
Over the course of the project, energy consumption in strip steel production was lowered by 580 GWh. Contributing measures also include the modernization of the company's process gas (co-generation) power plant, which has improved power production efficiency by around 30 %. CO2 emissions have been reduced by around 240,000 tons a year through the measures. SZFG's energy costs were cut by a mid-double-digit million amount during the project. The range of measures is extensive, comprising the installation of a light sensor right through to the new power plant; total capital expenditure amounted to around € 270 million.
"We are delighted to have been awarded this prize and regard it as hugely motivating. Energy efficiency is an issue of the highest priority in our ongoing endeavors to optimize cost structures, improve our good competitive position and conserve resources. We will continue to work on this in the future as well. In the case of all important processes, we are naturally operating close to the theoretical minimum in terms of energy consumption," said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann, chief executive officer of Salzgitter AG.
Ulrich Grethe, CEO of SZFG's Management Board, commented as follows: "The significance is immediately evident from the fact that energy carriers make up more than 20% of Salzgitter Flachstahl's total production costs. Thanks to the efficiency gains our own power plant has achieved in power generation from top gases stemming from our production processes we are now almost completely independent of external electricity suppliers!"
Stephan Kohler, chief executive officer of dena's Management Board said: "As a member of the jury and on behalf of the German Energy Agency, I congratulate Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH on winning first place in the Energy Efficiency Award 2013. The company's highly innovative energy efficiency measures and their transferability to other companies are outstanding achievements in promoting our standing in international competition. They motivate other companies to take the initiative themselves and introduce energy efficiency measures."
Ralph Schaper (SZFG), project leader and energy management officer concluded that: "The project that lives from the ideas and commitment of many employees will undoubtedly be continued. Comparatively large savings potential can, however, no longer be anticipated as most processes are already being optimally run in terms of energy technology.”
The German Energy Agency is a center of competence for energy efficiency, renewable energy and intelligence energy systems. Its major shareholder is the Federal Republic of Germany, and its headquarters are located in Berlin.

As Salzgitter AG's largest single company, Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH produces some 4.5 million tons of crude steel and, with a workforce of around 4,800 employees, generates sales of € 2.8 billion. The company's own plants and steel mills manufacture hot strip, cold-rolled sheet and surface-coated strip material. The most important customer sectors include automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, tube manufacturers, the building sector, mechanical engineering and the household goods industry.