Press release

Energy consumption cut by 2,500,000 kWh per year!

04 December 2020

Compared to its predecessor, the new tube gas storage facility on the premises of Saarstahl AG in Neunkirchen – “successor” to the gasometer that was dismantled in June of this year – saves the energy equivalent of roughly 600 Neunkirchen households per year, or 2,500,000 kWh.

Since the beginning of the year, the walking beam furnaces at Saarstahl's Neunkirchen plant have been fired with pure natural gas. The plant that has now been put into operation is a buffer storage facility that will cover peak loads in the gas supply for the two walking beam furnaces. The key highlight: following completion of the facility, it is completely invisible to the eye. The pipes of the storage tank are located below the surface of the factory premises.

Saarstahl has invested more than EUR 8 million into converting the furnaces to natural gas operation as well as into the new tube gas storage facility to replace the gasometer. Over the past ten years, the company has invested more than EUR 100 million in modernizing the Neunkirchen plant. With this step, the company is continuing to follow the path to environmentally friendly and sustainable production at the site.

“With the new tubular storage tank, Saarstahl is demonstrating that, even in difficult times, we are taking responsibility for sustainable production and the future viability of the Neunkirchen location,” plant manager Thomas Nikolay said in appreciation of the new construction.

The new tube gas storage facility operates much more efficiently and cost-effectively than the previous disk-shaped gas storage tank and, because the fuel gas is stored in a compressed state, could be constructed much smaller.

The natural gas storage facility consists of 10 pipes placed side by side and up to 4 meters below ground with a total volume of approx. 1,000 cubic meters. The length of the storage tubes placed special demands on the logistics: heavy-duty transport vehicles delivered the 32.5-meter-long tubes to the plant site, and a 300-ton crane with a radius of almost 80 meters then lifted the tubes into the 69 x 25 meter excavation pit. Two tubes were then welded together to form 65-meter-long tubes.

All data at a glance

Number of tubes:                                10 units

Length:                                               65 meters each (from two 32.5-meter tubes)

Diameter:                                            1.40 meter

Wall thickness of the tubes:               14.2 mm

Total volume, geometric:                    1,000 m³

Maximum pressure:                            32 bar

Maximum gas volume:                       approx. 32,000 standard cubic meters

Year constructed:                               2020

The 10 pipes in the storage facility are placed at their destination site on the premises of Saarstahl AG in Neunkirchen. (Copyright Saarstahl AG / Dirk Martin)

Precision work: Transporting the tubes required the drivers to deal with some tight curves. (Copyright Saarstahl AG / Dirk Martin)

About the Saarstahl Group:

The Saarstahl name has long stood for high-quality, customized solutions made from steel. The Saarstahl Group, headquartered in Völklingen, Germany, specializes in the 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 in demand by the automotive and construction industries, the power engineering industry, the aerospace industry, by general mechanical engineering and other steel processing industries, and they are used in applications that can be subjected to the most extreme conditions.