In April, Primetals Technologies appointed Dr. Alexander Fleischanderl as the Head of Green Steel. The main goal of the task force is to position the company as the frontrunner in green steel production solutions. “I’m proud of being promoted to this position and I strongly believe that, together with the task force team, this effort will become a game-changer,” says Fleischanderl.
The many aspects of green steel
While holding the position of market leader in environmental innovations for the metals industry, Primetals Technologies now moves into another gear. The main target is to gather and refine all the information and expertise within the company – and to then communicate it. Another important aim of the new task force is to support the implementation of Primetals Technologies initiatives within the areas of green steel and energy transition.
Decarbonization is an essential part of green steel. However, there is much more to this field. A reduction in emissions, lower water consumption, greater energy efficiency, and improved circularity and yield – these are all examples of green steel activities. Primetals Technologies possesses both high engineering competence and proven solutions in all the above-mentioned fields – and more. The portfolio covers the entire iron and steel production chain: upstream, downstream, metallurgical services, and electrics and automation.
Therefore, Fleischanderl and his team play a key role that extends across the whole company. The Green Steel organization consists of a team of hand-picked leading experts from all major locations of Primetals Technologies. The team will work together to lead and push the efforts on green steel, while actively developing synergies within Primetals Technologies as well as within the larger Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group, which Primetals Technologies is part of.
In the coming decades, it will be essential for the steel industry to make use of green steel solutions – first and foremost to lower CO2emissions, but also for the sake of meeting stricter environmental regulations, and for financial reasons.
“In about ten years it might be quite hard to get a good price for non-green steel. Those who do not invest in green steel today will experience challenges in the future; once that ship has sailed, companies left behind will not be competitive going forward,” says Fleischanderl.
A shift within the steel industry
The steel industry is waking up to the need for a transition to green steel. Several global companies are putting an effort into presenting their lower carbon steel segments – and sell the products at a premium price. While climate change is today’s number one environmental challenge, both governmental benefits and environmental regulations are being implemented in many countries. Therefore, producing green steel is becoming more and more important for steel producers across the globe.
Key facts: Primetals Technologies’ green steel portfolio – four examples
Hydrogen: Hydrogen economy is all about shifting from fossil fuels to hydrogen. In Primetals Technologies’ portfolio, the foremost example of a hydrogen solution is direct reduction technology. There are solutions for processing iron ore of any quality using hydrogen as the main reducing agent.
Electric steelmaking: Electric arc furnaces and related technologies are carbon neutral when steel producers are using a renewable energy source.
Carbon capture and utilization: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group possesses leading solutions related to carbon capture. Primetals Technologies is working on realizing the first reference project in the steel industry. Another key technology, in which Primetals Technologies is a shareholder, is LanzaTech’s unique fermentation solution that converts captured CO2 into e-fuel or other intermediate products for the chemical industry.
Endless casting and rolling: Arvedi ESP is changing the way steel is produced. By linking processes, steel producers relying on this technology no longer need to cool down and reheat their slabs. The result is a significantly reduced carbon footprint paired with an increase in yield and lower energy consumption.
Key facts: Dr. Alexander Fleischanderl
Started his career at Austrian Energy & Environment in Vienna as a process engineer responsible for waste-gas cleaning and waste-water management
25 years ago, Fleischanderl moved to VAI where he worked as a process and commissioning engineer and technical sales manager for the environmental solutions business
Was responsible for Technology and Innovation in the company’s Iron- & Steelmaking department and the environmental solutions business, then became Technology Officer for Upstream
Ph.D in process engineering
More than 100 single patents to his name
Recently appointed as Senior Vice President and Head of Green Steel