Luther advises on the largest Net Zero project in the European steel industry - EUR 2.6 billion funding approved for the use of green hydrogen

Cologne, 07.02.2024 –The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) is funding the "Power4Steel" decarbonisation project of the Saarland steel industry together with Saarland. The grant notices amount to a total funding of around EUR 2.6 billion. The total investment over the next few years will be over EUR 3.5 billion. Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft is supporting the mega-project.


From 2027/2028, this will secure the production of up to 3.5 million tonnes of green steel per year by SHS - Stahl-Holding-Saar and its subsidiaries Dillinger, Saarstahl and ROGESA. By 2030, 55% of CO2 will already be saved in line with the EU's "Fit for 55" target, with up to 70% of production being converted to be climate-friendly in the next stage. At the end of the project, up to 4.9 million tonnes of crude steel will be produced annually in Saarland in a CO2-reduced manner.

"Advising on major decarbonisation projects in Europe is an essential part of our law firm's strategy. We congratulate our client, as funding on this scale has never been seen before in the European steel industry. The grant will pay off in the areas of climate protection and securing the future of Saarland as a steel location. We at Luther are very pleased to have provided comprehensive legal support for the project from the outset and will continue to do so with a high level of identification," said the lead Luther partners Dr Stefan Mager, Essen, and Dr Stefan Altenschmidt, Düsseldorf.

Altenschmidt has been working for the Saarland steel industry in the field of environmental and planning law for many years. In a pitch, Mager and his team were able to prevail against other well-known commercial law firms to advise on the rest of the transformation. Since October 2022, the Luther team has therefore been working on, among other things, obtaining notification of the funding from the EU Commission, the approval of the German funding in the aforementioned billion-euro amount, the reorganisation of purchasing in order to comply with the funding conditions and many other aspects relevant to the project. One aspect that certainly stands out here is the advice on procurement projects totalling billions for the planned direct reduction plant, two electric arc furnaces, various transformer stations and the supply of green hydrogen.

Luther is thus at the forefront of legal transformation consulting for German industry and connects various legal areas throughout Germany through project management based on legal design. Sebastien Chomard, Head of the Legal Department at SHS - Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA, emphasises: "The transformation of the Saarland steel industry is also a major challenge from a legal perspective. Complex and sometimes completely new legal questions have to be answered and legal processes set up in a very short space of time. Excellent legal and organisational work and tireless commitment are the hallmarks of the entire Luther team. Luther is at the forefront of decarbonisation."

On behalf of SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA:

Luther, state aid, public grants and public procurement law: Dr Stefan Mager (partner, lead), Dr Helmut Janssen (Partner), Dr Henning Holz (Counsel), Matthias Mehlwitz (Senior Associate), Martin Lawall (Senior Associate), Katharina Stefanie Franke (Senior Associate), Jenny Tsynn (Senior Associate), Charlotte Jodocy (Associate), Sophie Schulz (Associate)

Luther, Energy Law: Dr Gernot-Rüdiger Engel (Partner), Dr Mathias Mailänder (Counsel), Ekkehard Hübel (Counsel), Anja Wechsler (Associate), Dennis Gerdes (Legal Consultant)

Luther, Construction and Real Estate Law: Michael Kunkel (Partner), Dr Christoph von Burgsdorff (Partner), Karsten Köhler (Partner), Dr Steffen Gaber (Partner), Dr Melanie Verstege (Counsel), Robert Burkert (Senior Associate)

Luther, Energy Law and Antitrust Law: Dr Holger Stappert (Partner), Cosima Flock (Counsel), Lilith Boos (Associate)

Luther, Antitrust Law: Anne Wegner (Partner), Franz-Rudolf Groß (Counsel)

Luther, Environmental and Planning Law: Dr Stefan Altenschmidt (Partner, Lead), Dr Stefan Kobes (Partner), Pauline Müller (Associate), Vera Wechsler (Associate)

Luther, Corporate/Compliance: Dr Cédric Müller (Partner), Dr Carsten E. Beisheim (Partner), Dr Eberhard Vetter (Partner), Dr Jörgen Tielmann (Partner), Dr Philipp Honisch (Counsel), Dr Marc Peters (Counsel), Alexander Masson (Senior Associate), Alina Kühn (Associate)

Luther, Capital Markets, Banking & Finance: Christoph Schauenburg (Partner), Volkan Top (Senior Associate)

Luther, Labour Law: Klaus Thönißen (Partner), Pia Analena Wieberneit (Associate)

Luther, Intellectual Property & Copyright: Dr Detlef Mäder (Partner), Tobias Schneider (Senior Associate), Anja Schwarz (Senior Associate), Dr Aline Mück (Associate)

Luther, Project Management: Frederike Peters, Melina Liedmeier, Lisa Küpers, Anne Gensert