16. May 2023

Heat converted into electricity: New plant at the Neunkirchen site will put process heat to good use

For the second time in a row, the corporate social responsibility management at Saarstahl has been awarded the highest possible platinum medal by EcoVadis. This means that the Saarland-based steel producer is once again among the top one percent of companies rated in the sector. EcoVadis is an internationally recognized sustainability ratings platform. The rating, for which the evaluation criteria were increased in the current period, confirms the consistently high quality of Saarstahl’s sustainability management.

A new plant will generate electricity from industrial process heat at the Saarstahl site in Neunkirchen starting in autumn 2023. The power plant project represents an investment of around EUR 1.5 million and will further boost the energy efficiency of the rolling mill.

The new plant with an output of around 200 kilowatts can efficiently convert industrial waste heat generated by the rolling process into electricity. This electricity will then be fed back into the rolling mill’s power grid. Saarstahl and the mechanical engineering company DeVeTec used a traditional steam power process for this known as Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology. The core of this closed thermodynamic process is the DeVeTec piston expander, which was specially developed to effectively convert heat into drive power.

“We expect to generate up to a maximum of 1,200 megawatt hours of electricity per year with the new plant,” explained Dr. Klaus Richter, Chief Technology Officer at Saarstahl. “In times when energy is scarce, we are reducing external energy requirements at the Neunkirchen site with this and contributing to the energy transition.”

“DeVeTec is successfully using its technology to produce electricity from heat that is currently going unused,” said Dr. Stefan Keck, Managing Director of DeVeTec. “As an associated company of Montan-Ventures-Saar, a subsidiary of Montan-Stiftung-Saar, we are pleased to be able to support the Saarstahl plant in Neunkirchen in its effort to reduce external energy requirements.”

About the Saarstahl Group

Saarstahl has long stood for high-quality, customized solutions made from steel. The Saarstahl Group, headquartered in Völklingen, Germany, specializes in production of wire rod, bar steel, billets and forged products in premium qualities. With innovative products and intelligent technologies, Saarstahl is helping find answers to global challenges like mobility, energy efficiency and safety. Saarstahl products are sought by the automotive and construction industries, power engineering, the aerospace industry, general engineering and other steel processing sectors, and are used in applications that require withstanding the most extreme conditions. With the acquisition of a rail plant and an electric steel plant in France, Saarstahl is also significantly advancing the environmental transition in the area of sustainable mobility. For more information: www.saarstahl.com

About DeVeTec

DeVeTec a leading developer and producer of innovative waste heat power plants based in St. Ingbert, Germany. The mechanical engineering company specializes in stationary waste heat recovery systems. The focus is on waste heat power plants that produce compressed air and compression refrigeration. With this “Heat2X” solution, waste heat can be used to generate precisely the form of energy needed at a given location. A team of engineers and technicians, business people, mechanics, and fitters are working to help mitigate climate change while providing an economic benefit to the user of the technologies. In addition, DeVeTec has an established network of experts from industry and science that the team can consult with specific questions. Collaboration with colleges and universities is meanwhile leading to continuous improvement of our products. For more information: www.devetec-heat.de

About Montan-Ventures-Saar

Montan-Ventures-Saar is the point of contact for start-ups in their early stages (seed to Sries A). It has a regional focus on Saarland but also invests beyond the region in Germany, France and Luxembourg. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Montan-Stiftung-Saar, it supports the latter’s objectives, in particular that of finding innovative business fields in or for the Saar region. Its vision is above all to make Saarland a place that fosters the growth of innovative start-ups into autonomous, confident companies. For more information: www.montan-ventures.de


Martin Reinicke
Head of Public relations

Phone: +49 6898 102211


Juliane Wernet
Public relations

Phone: +496898 102234