greentec steel: Landmark melting at voestalpine 12 April 2024

voestalpine has produced the first high-quality ‘green’ wire rod from hydrogen reduced pure iron and scrap at its site in Donawitz.

The hydrogen reduced pure iron was produced in the Hyfor pilot plant, while the landmark melting was carried out in the Group’s own Technikum Metallurgie research facility, a unique small but complete steel plant. The CO2 reduced steel was further processed in the wire rod mill to produce roller bearing steel, which is characterised by its particular hardness and wear resistance. The production of high-quality, CO2 reduced steel grades is one of the biggest technological challenges in the transition to green steel production.

greentec steel is an ambitious and feasible phased plan with which voestalpine can make a valuable contribution to achieving the climate goals. “We have already made a successful start on our path to green steel production and are advancing quickly with construction of the two arc furnaces powered by green electricity in Linz and Donawitz. Parallel to this, we are researching various breakthrough technologies with partners from industry and science. The first ever melting of hydrogen reduced pure iron and its further processing into high-quality wire rod is a historic milestone,” comments Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of voestalpine AG.

Hyfor is a joint research project of Primetals Technologies, voestalpine, Montanuniversität Leoben and K1-MET, with the goal of researching the use of hydrogen to reduce fine iron ore. In the future, the resulting hot sponge iron could be melted down in an electric arc furnace or used to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI).

“The Technikum Metallurgie provides us with an ideal test environment to quickly adapt our steels to the needs of our customers and to changed market requirements. I am very pleased that we are now also doing pioneering work in green steel production and would like to thank all the researchers and employees for their commitment,” states Franz Kainersdorfer, head of the metal engineering division and member of the management board of voestalpine.

At the Technikum Metallurgie, voestalpine is conducting research into the production of new high performance steels, for subsequent processing into special rails, high-quality wire rod, and heavy-duty oil field pipes. The product development involves a CO2 reduced route: the input material is melted using electricity from renewable energy sources. 

greentec steel – Austria’s largest climate protection programme

In a first step from 2027, voestalpine will reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 30% by partially replacing its current coal-based blast furnace technology with electric arc furnace technology powered by green electricity. This represents almost 5% of Austria’s entire annual CO2 emissions, making greentec steel the largest climate protection program in Austria.

The Group is aiming for carbon neutral steel production by 2050 and is researching intensively on several new processes, as well as investing in pilot projects that explore new pathways in steel production.

Deputy Editor

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889


Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.

Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.