Optimizing energy efficiency in integrated steelworks

DÜSSELDORF – SULB and SMS digital cooperate in identifying and tapping potentials for energy savings in SULB’s integrated steelworks in Bahrain. Alongside SMS group, Brazil-based company Vetta and Midrex Technologies, Inc., based in North Carolina, USA, are partners to the project.

SULB operates an integrated steelworks in Hidd, Bahrain. This steel complex covers the complete production chain from direct reduction to finish-rolled products. A key asset of the mill is the flexible combi-caster, designed to produce a wide range of cast formats and sizes, ranging from billets to heavy beam blanks.

In 2020, SULB initiated the Energy Audit project with the support of Tamkeen, a public authority helping industries and businesses in Bahrain. The objective of the project is to improve energy efficiency through increasing plant operational efficiency and making full use of secondary energy and residual heat. The long-term strategy for reducing GHG emission will also be outlined. In order to achieve these objectives and to secure successful positioning in the global market, SULB has entered into a consulting project with the above-mentioned companies.

As early as in spring 2020, when the “Quick Assessment” (Module A of the cooperation agreement) was performed, SULB took a first key step in making its operations more efficient and, as a result, more cost-effective. The aims of that first phase of the project were to identify the focus areas and specific measures to reduce the energy consumption, including natural gas, electricity and process gas. Along the complete production chain, fifty measures were identified. A full host of levers were proposed, from the use of smart management systems via adaptation of processes to an improved product mix. For every identified measure, a comprehensive and detailed description, a qualitative assessment of the underlying energy savings potential and the associated implementation effort were provided. An implementation plan was set up, including the milestones on the path to SULB’s strategic energy-efficiency goal.

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