Nextchem and Paul Wurth to develop low-carbon iron ore reduction

Milan, Genoa and Luxembourg – Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiary NextChem, and Paul Wurth, a company of the SMS Group and leading technology provider for the steel industry, will join forces to promote the combined use of electrolysis and syngas production in the iron & steel industry. 

The cooperation between NextChem and Paul Wurth is aimed at developing an advanced technological solution to convert natural gas into synthesis gas, known as syngas, to be used during iron ore reduction. The utilisation of syngas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) allows for the decrease in the portion of fossil fuels required, thus reducing CO2 emissions in the steel production process. 

On the path of the energy transition and industry decarbonisation, NextChem and Paul Wurth will combine their respective knowledge and expertise to study the integration of electrolysis technology into the syngas production scheme, with the aim of producing low-carbon steel at a competitive cost. Introducing green hydrogen into the metallurgical process allows for the further lowering of the volume of coke required and reduces the carbon footprint of steel plants. 

Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Maire Tecnimont Group and NextChem commented: “Integrating electrolysis in the revamping of steel furnaces is one of the most interesting challenges nowadays. We are really proud of this agreement, which strengthens the existing alliance between Maire Tecnimont and Paul Wurth to develop low carbon impact solutions in a hard-to-abate sector like the steel industry.”

Thomas Hansmann, Chief Technology and Operations Officer of Paul Wurth says: “Today, together with a long-standing partner, we have taken another fundamental step towards carbon-neutral ironmaking. It is only by joining know-how that we can achieve a faster energy transition and the decarbonisation of the steel industry”.

Maire Tecnimont heads an industrial group which leads the global natural resource conversion market (downstream oil & gas plant engineering, with technological and executive expertise). Its subsidiary NextChem operates in the field of green chemicals and technologies in support of the energy transition. The Maire Tecnimont Group operates in approx. 45 countries, through around 50 operative companies and about 9,000 people.

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