DB Cargo helps steel to go green

Employee films the unloader of sponge iron with his smartphone.

DB Cargo helps steel to go green

Successful test: ArcelorMittal satisfied with the transport of sponge iron by rail.

It sounds like a small step, but it is a milestone for climate-neutral steel production: ArcelorMittal Germany has successfully unloaded the first test wagon from Hamburg containing sponge iron, the preliminary product destined for the production of the future at the plant in Eisenhüttenstadt. The partners ArcelorMittal, DB Cargo and Innofreight jointly implemented the test with the aim of analysing the unloading options for sponge iron at the Eisenhüttenstadt facilities.

A red and yellow DryTainer from Innofreight mounted on a DB Cargo freight wagon.
The pyramid shape of the DryTainer enables dust-free unloader and good handling.

By special container to Eisenhüttenstadt

The sponge iron was produced in Hamburg in the first plant of its kind using natural gas and transported to Eisenhüttenstadt in special containers – called DryTainers – developed by Innofreight. These special containers are optimised for this form of transport and can be transported by rail on standardised freight wagons. Ralf-Peter Bösler, Member of the Management Board at ArcelorMittal, Eisenhüttenstadt, and responsible for primary steel production, is very satisfied with the first run: "The test was a great success, the transportation went smoothly – one more small step on our path to decarbonisation. The special containers enable safe, environmentally friendly transport and fast unloading".

On track for the green steel of the future

Carbon-free steel production is the company's goal. To this end, ArcelorMittal is planning new plants in Eisenhüttenstadt and Bremen that will produce steel using green hydrogen and electricity from renewable energy sources. However, green steel also requires environmentally friendly logistics – and that is exactly what DB Cargo offers. ArcelorMittal already relies on rail for ore transport and is planning to do the same in future for the transport of sponge iron within the context of sustainably produced steel. This brings the company closer to its aim of reducing CO2 emissions in steel production in Europe by 35 per cent by 2030 and achieving climate-neutral production worldwide by 2050. DB Cargo and the railways are an important component of this.