Energy management in the steel industry

Georgsmarienhütte’s integrated approach

The steel industry is one of the most energy-intensive sectors in Germany. Stringent energy management is therefore particularly important. Georgsmarienhütte GmbH has developed a transparent system that lives on the fresh ideas and commitment of all its employees.

A huge amount of power is needed to melt steel from scrap in an electric arc furnace. Wherever lots of energy is used, climate protection and resource conservation play an important role. Georgsmarienhütte GmbH is conscious of the special responsibility the steel industry has, and the company struck out on the path of improved efficiency and lower energy consumption many years ago.

And this was successful: the company was the first steel plant in Germany to be certified in accordance with the former DIN EN 16001 norm. The GMH Gruppe company was also one of the first steel plants to be certified in accordance with ISO 50001, which was introduced in 2012. In 2014 the company was recognised by the 'Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency Group of Deutsche Wirtschaft e. V.' for its outstanding climate-protection and energy-efficiency achievements, and was accepted into the German 'Association of Climate Protection Companies' by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

Reducing consumption – increasing efficiency

In efforts to conserve energy, the focus in the past has been on the biggest energy consumers (DC electric arc furnace in the steel plants and the walking-beam furnace in the rolling mill). However, more is needed to achieve transparency and to leverage new savings potentials: a precise analysis of current energy requirements and consumption.

Accurate reports

Georgsmarienhütte GmbH therefore set up an energy measurement system that assigns the consumption of the various energy forms to the individual plant areas and facilities. From basic monitoring to the full and transparent representation of all energy consumption, and source-related cost centre assignment - detailed reports from the automated system show not only where there are still savings potentials, but also where and how the facilities can be further optimised. Each individual measure makes a contribution to integrated energy management. Be it improved insulation, an optimised heating system, adjusted machine times or more effective lighting – it all plays a part in the more efficient use of energy. 

A strong “we”

Another of the system’s advantages is its open network structure. Every employee with access to a PC has direct access to the plant’s energy values. Maximum transparency is not an end in itself, but rather the prerequisite that allows staff to ensure optimal use of energy. The results of this joint effort are significant savings in energy consumption and a reduction in energy requirements. Thanks to comprehensive transparency in compressed air generation and distribution, and to the dedication of all our employees, we have been able to permanently reduce compressed air requirements by up to 40 per cent. A sustainable success!

Keyfacts energy management

  1. Reducing energy requirements: processes are analysed and optimised through continuous and comprehensive data collection on all energy sources.
  2. Improving energy efficiency: high-tech facilities allow shorter plant run times and a higher degree of automation.
  3. Shared goals: all employees are involved in the energy management processes and make a significant contribution to their success.