- bluemint® powercore with 50 % less CO2 intensity
- delivery of 50 tons to transformer specialist SGB-SMIT
- transformers with CO2-reduced electrical steel for new digital E.ON medium-voltage stations in Germany
The energy transition is a task for the century. And it also starts in Gelsenkirchen, at electrical steel specialist thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel. The company produces high-quality grain-oriented electrical steel, which is indispensable for the transmission and forwarding of electrical energy in low-loss power transformers. Now, for the first time, this basic material of the energy transition with significantly reduced CO2 intensity is being supplied to a customer. The first quantities of bluemint® Steel with 50 % lower CO2 emissions will be supplied to the Regensburg-based company SGB-SMIT for the production of transformers for new digital E.ON medium-voltage substations.
Gelsenkirchen hidden champion back on track for success
thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel is European market leader for grain-oriented electrical steel. This complex special material ensures that transformers operate at high efficiency to transport energy with as little loss as possible. The higher the grade of electrical steel, the higher the efficiency. Grain-oriented electrical steel of the powercore® brand from thyssenkrupp is used among other things in distribution and power transformers, but also in charging columns for electric cars and innovative electric motors.
The Gelsenkirchen-based company is back on track for success after a tight turnaround and performance program. Managing Director Georgios Giovanakis: "We have made targeted investments and also brought additional engineering expertise into the workforce. The aim was and is to produce the technologically sophisticated top grades that are in particular demand on the market, which are characterized by particularly low core losses and thus achieve high efficiencies in current transport." The top grades of the powercore® brand enable customers to produce transformers which comply with the EU Ecodesign Directive and contribute to reducing global energy consumption and CO2 emissions. "Through the technological turnaround in our three plants in Germany, France and India, we are supplying improved products to our customers, thus indirectly contributing to energy savings of more than one thousand gigawatt hours and thus to the avoidance of over 400,000 tons of CO2," adds Giovanakis. It is the clear goal of the Gelsenkirchen-based company to increase significantly the production of top grades with high efficiency. If low-CO2 power generation from renewable sources becomes predominant in the future, the share of CO2 emissions generated during the production phase of the transformer will come into even sharper focus. Therefore, the next logical step is now to offer electrical steel itself in reduced CO2 intensity.
Transformer manufacturer SGB-SMIT receives first quantities of CO2-reduced bluemint® Steel
Electrical steel made in Gelsenkirchen is now available in CO2-reduced form for the first time. The first customer to receive bluemint® powercore with a 50 % lower CO2 intensity is transformer specialist SGB-SMIT from Regensburg. The company manufactures transformers that ensure the transport of electrical energy from the points of origin to the energy consumers. "Energy suppliers and industrial companies all over the world rely on our products. It is great added value for us and our customers that thyssenkrupp's top grades are now also available in CO2-reduced form. This is an important step towards further decarbonization of the energy process chain," says Holger Ketterer, Managing Director of SGB-SMIT. The medium-sized company with a global customer base ordered bluemint® Steel from thyssenkrupp. This is used in power and distribution transformers. "It's also clear that the more green energy is generated and transported, the greater the importance of a climate-friendly supply chain and the use of climate-friendly materials, including green steel," adds Ketterer.
Since October 2021 thyssenkrupp Steel has been offering certified CO2-reduced steel under the bluemint® brand. Production will initially take place via the classic blast furnace route at the Duisburg site before the technological leap to hydrogen-based direct reduction technology from 2025.
For the batch now delivered to SGB-SMIT, reduced iron has already been used in the blast furnace, enabling a reduction in coal usage. This results in actual CO2 savings in the primary steel route, which are converted on balance to a specific quantity of certified bluemint® Steel - while maintaining the same high quality and full range of grades. Including all further processing steps in Duisburg and in Gelsenkirchen, a CO2 saving of 50 % per ton of bluemint® is achieved compared with conventional electrical steel. This means a reduction in the CO2 intensity of one ton of bluemint® powercore from 3.7 tons to 1.8 tons.
The Gelsenkirchen site is aiming for complete climate neutrality in the medium term, for example by using green electricity and biomethane in production as early as this year.
Transformers with CO2-reduced steel for new stations from E.ON
The energy company E.ON also sees great potential in the more climate-friendly version of its familiar and proven products. "We are committed to a sustainable energy world of tomorrow - so it makes a big difference to the overall rating of a plant if also transformers with CO2-reduced electrical steel are used in a substation or station for green electricity," says Achim Hübner, International Category Lead for transformers at E.ON. The first small series is used by E.ON subsidiary Avacon. In the transport of electricity, transformers connect the individual voltage levels between power generation and the end consumer. The fact that this transport functions extremely efficiently and with low losses is also due to the materials from thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel. Highly efficient electrical steel, whether in wind turbines, generators or transformers, is an indispensable base material for the energy transition.
“Climate protection and the energy transition will be the predominant topics of the next decades”, says Giovanakis. "With its products thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel is helping to achieve the climate targets. This spurs us on even more to further improve our products for the energy transition."