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Joburg-based SMS group subsidiary involved in world’s largest industrial decarbonisation project

The greenfield project for green high-quality manganese producer Sakura Ferroalloys in Malaysia

The greenfield project for green high-quality manganese producer Sakura Ferroalloys in Malaysia

The greenfield project for green high-quality manganese producer Sakura Ferroalloys in Malaysia

3rd December 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor


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Metals industry partner SMS group will supply the core technology of two 100 MW rectangular six electrode open bath furnaces through its Johannesburg-based subsidiary METIX for a €1.8-billion first-of-its-kind green steel project being developed by steel producer thyssenkrupp in Germany.

The project was awarded to SMS group in March 2023 for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the first hydrogen-powered direct reduction plant and smelter at thyssenkrupp Steel in Duisburg. This project will eliminate more than 3.5-million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year in the future. 

Coal-based hot iron production using blast furnace technology involves emitting large amounts of CO2, with Duisburg’s emissions amounting to about 20-million metric tons a year.

The plant will have a production capacity of 2.2-million metric tons of hot metal produced from directly reduced iron and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2026.

Established in 2003, METIX, SMS group’s advanced submerged arc furnace equipment and engineering services subsidiary, was acquired by the group in 2011 and has consequently gained access to new technologies such as the rectangular furnaces built for First Quantum Minerals’ 80%-owned Kansanshi copper mine in Zambia.

Since the acquisition, METIX’s global reach has increased not only in terms of its customer base and technology toolbox but also regarding financial backing and support to execute larger and more complex projects, such as the greenfield project for green high-quality manganese producer Sakura Ferroalloys in Malaysia. Executed on an EPC basis, the project is considered one of the industry's best performing ferro- and silicomanganese production facilities.

“In 2018, METIX was selected to represent SMS group worldwide as the Centre of Competence for all submerged arc furnace-related business. Since then, we have grown in a sustainable and profitable manner, leveraging our strengths and global reach from the SMS group network,” highlights METIX MD Wynand Moolman.

By understanding clients’ needs and combining its original equipment manufacturer design with the SMS toolbox, METIX has developed specialised and patented equipment that is today regarded as best-performing and industry-leading technology.

As a result, METIX has become a global supplier of choice for any new, upgrade and expansion projects in the pyrometallurgical industry, spanning not only the traditional ferrous and non-ferrous sectors, but also the waste recycling and green metals sectors.

“Celebrating our twentieth anniversary this year, our focus will be on our competencies and the supply of innovative solutions for metallurgical furnaces, equipment as well as complete plants worldwide. We intend to retain a close relationship with our customers and support them through difficult times and market volatilities, but more importantly, allow them to accelerate during periods of growth by offering them today and tomorrow’s advantages from within SMS group,” concludes Moolman.




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SMS group
SMS group

At SMS group, we have made it our mission to create a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry.


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