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2024, 28th May

Danieli Innovaction Meeting opens with almost 700 guests

Steel professionals from 73 countries took part in Day 1 and its discussion panels

Danieli Research Center: Day 1 of the Danieli Innovaction Meeting 2024 was characterized by four important panels and one presentation on Macro-economic and geopolitical trends; Raw materials and metallics: present and future opportunities; The best available energies: alternative choices; and Intelligent and autonomous plants to produce competitive green metal.


Panel #1 / Macro-economic and geopolitical trends

This panel, moderated by Federico Rampini, Journalist of Corriere della Sera, explored the critical role of decarbonization in the steel industry over the next 50 years and panelists observed:

–Peter Maagh, SHS Dillinger, Chief Technology and Production Officer: need for a transformative approach to steelmaking organization, including the production of green hydrogen via electrolysis, despite regulatory challenges.

–Peter Matt from CMC, President and CEO: advantages of electric arc furnace technology in reducing carbon footprint; and the importance global steel capacity rationalization.

–Vidya Ratan Sharma, Jindal Steel & Power, Vice Chairman: global overcapacity of steel and the necessity for regional self-reliance.

–Hassan Shashaa, Emirates Steel Arkan, Group Chief Projects Officer: immediate need to reduce CO2 emissions from steelmaking, and the potential for collaboration to achieve sustainability. He also described geopolitical factors such as protectionism and the impact of national security concerns on global trade.


Panel #2 /Raw materials and metallics: present and future opportunities

As engaged by Ronald E. Ashburn, Secretary General, AIST, panel #2 focused on the pivotal role of raw materials in decarbonization and the future of steelmaking. Panelists expressed:

–Li Jianyu, Hunan Iron & Steel Group, Chairman: there is growing importance of recycled steel and the innovative technologies being developed to utilize low-quality iron ores.

–Johannes Rieger, K1-MET, Area Manager: necessity for flexibility in processing different qualities of iron ore and integrating circular economy principles.

–Guilherme Reinisch Neves, Vale, Global Director Iron Ore Briquettes: calling for breakthroughs in low-energy iron ore agglomeration.

–Daou Rafic, Suez Steel, Vice Chairman and Managing Director: benefits of DRI technology and its readiness for hydrogen integration.

The conversation also covered China's decarbonization efforts, as described by Li Jianyu, and Egypt's potential in green energy as highlighted by Rafic.

Panel #3 / The best available energies: alternative choices.

Ronald J. O’Malley, Chair Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology led the panel on alternative energies, and showcased various innovative projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the steel industry.

– Carl Orrling, SSAB, Vice President of Strategic Technical Development: leader in decarbonization, SSAB claims each project should address the available energy sources to replace coal, and various regulatory conditions. Also, hydrogen storage is a key factor to capture energy when it's available from the renewable sources.

– Stefan Savonen, LKAB, Vice President Energy and Climate: description of the progress towards the use of renewable electricity in Sweden for fossil-free direct reduced iron (DRI) production.

– Michael Bott, SHS/Dillinger Huettenwerke, Production Director: challenges and solutions for energy management in Germany, including the transition to DRI and EAF technology to cut CO2 emissions.

–Carlo Beltrame, Beltrame Group, Group Business Development Manager and CEO Romania & France: today I don’t see a problem in energy supply in Europe as consumption decreased due to a crisis. Problem will be energy networks rather than production, hence the development of on-site captive energy –photovoltaic and SMR– by Beltrame.

If decarbonization will take place, state aids will have to support not only the integrated steel mill, but EAF producers as well.

–Claudio Filippone, HolosGen LLC, President and CEO: the panel also included discussions on the potential of Small Modular Reactors for energy supply and the broader issues of energy consumption and supply dynamics.


Panel #4 / Intelligent and autonomous plants to produce competitive green metal

Process and equipment control with horizontal/vertical integration, and with the support of AI to reduce OpEx for competitiveness and increase global sustainability, for fully automatic steel production.

Akio Ito, Senior Partner, Roland Berger handled panel #4 examining the transformative impact of digitalization, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) on the steel industry.

–Andrea Bez, Microsoft, described AI as the “new water”, emphasizing its role in enhancing all process areas by providing a continuous flow of data.

–Potential of generative AI to revolutionize work processes by acting as a co-pilot, thus saving time and energy was presented by Alessandro Ardesi, Danieli Automation, CEO.

–The panel underscored AI's accessibility and sustainability, envisioning it as a cornerstone of future competitiveness in the industry. The cooperation between ABS steelmaking plant and Agrati, steel end-user was showcased by the CEO of ABS Stefano Scolari and the CEO of Agrati Paolo Pozzi.

Presentation / The sustainable route from ore to steel

Enriched by the active participation of Martin Zappe, Salzgitter Flachstahl, Program Manager Salcos Project, and Magno Ribeiro, from Vale, Technical Manager Europe, the presentation “The sustainable route from ore to steel” closed Day 1.

–Danieli presented its vision on how to have a more sustainable path from ore to steel, starting from the available technologies to substitute for BF+BOF, passing through the availability of iron ores, with the target to move close to net-zero steel production, considering a competitive OpEx.

This was made by Marco Lapasin and Massimiliano Zampa, Vice Presidents of Danieli Centro Metallics, Reinoud Van Laar, Senior Technology Manager of Danieli Corus, and Bojan Vucinic, Senior Manager Tech Team of Danieli Centro Met.

–Salzgitter Flachstahl, which recently ordered an Energiron DRI plant, confirmed its endorsement to the DRI-EAF route to give continuity to quality steel production in Germany, in a green way.

–Brazilian mining group Vale spoke about iron ore valorization, claiming they will be able to produce any required quality, through the introduction of new processes, now ready for industrial production.


Danieli Innovaction Awards 2024

During the afternoon, Danieli Innovaction Awards 2024 –Star in Steel– have been presented to six steelmaking companies, namely:

Nucor Corporation, Algoma Steel, CMC-Commercial Metals Company, BSRM-Bangladesh Steel Re-rolling Mills, Emirates Steel Industries, and Shougang Jintang United I&S.

Star in Steel recognizes Trust, Confidence, Partnership, Challenge, Technology advances and Performances from steel producing companies.


Day 2

Tomorrow, Day 2, will be dedicated to presentations and discussion on different technologies, organized in parallel events.

Stay tuned to learn more of each conference and visit days.