Rio Tinto has signed a draft agreement with German steel maker Salzgitter to work towards carbon-free steelmaking.
The pair will study how Rio’s Australian and Canadian iron ore can be used in Salzgitter’s SALCOS green steel project in Germany.
Under the agreement, Rio Tinto and Salzgitter will explore the optimisation of iron ore pellets, lump and fines for use in hydrogen direct reduction steelmaking.
The two companies will also explore the potential for greenhouse gas emission certification across the steel value chain.
Rio Tinto chief commercial officer Alf Barrios said the company welcomed the chance to work with Salzgitter on ways to accelerate green steelmaking, in keeping with our commitment to reduce emissions across the steel value chain.
“Salzgitter has one of the world’s most advanced green steelmaking projects. Rio Tinto is excited at the opportunity of supplying our product and combining our technical expertise with that of Salzgitter to help advance the SALCOS project.”
Salzgitter chairman Ulrich Grethe said the agreement sought to combine the knowledge of both companies to make further progress with low-carbon steel production.
Under the SALCOS program, Salzgitter’s carbon-based blast furnace route will gradually be replaced from the middle of this decade by direct reduction plants, initially operated by natural gas and then with a steadily increasing proportion of hydrogen.