Hydrogen for steel completes feasibility study

Article by Amanda Jasi

Project partners Equinor, OGE, and thyssenkrupp Steel Europe have completed their joint feasibility study for ‘blue’ hydrogen production and aim to form the basis for investment decisions in the coming months.

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas, with carbon emissions being captured and stored, or reused. The partners aim to evaluate supply of thyssenkrupp’s Duisburg, Germany steel mill with blue hydrogen to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. At the steel provider’s plant, which produces about 11m t/y of steel, hydrogen would replace carbon in reducing iron ore to iron before it is processed into steel. Using carbon emits CO2 but employing hydrogen in reduction would only produce water vapour.

The recently completed feasibility study, started in October 2019, identified three potential locations for a hydrogen plant, one on the Dutch coast in Eemshaven and the other two on the German North Sea coast. The partners investigated two scenarios, 1.4 GW and 2.7 GW. The latter option requires additional technical detailing and further evaluation of the available space. Next steps for the hydrogen project include elaborating the details of the potential plant sites.

The study identified pipeline transport of hydrogen as the only commercially viable option.

The study concluded that depending on production capacity, either ships or pipelines may be viable for CO2 transport. Talks on potential storage facilities will continue going forward.

According to the feasibility study, the hydrogen project’s value chain could be established by 2027 at the earliest.

The study is part of Equinor and OGE’s H2morrow decarbonisation project, in which the energy company and gas distribution operator are collaborating with thyssenkrupp Steel Europe as an anchor customer.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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