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Pushing ahead with ‘developing the hydrogen economy’

Posted on 22 Mar 2024 and read 677 times
Pushing ahead with ‘developing the hydrogen economy’ThyssenKrupp Steel reached another milestone on the company’s path to sustainable steel production with an official launch of ‘call for tenders’ to supply hydrogen to its first direct reduction plant. In conjunction with two ‘innovative melters’, this is ‘the centrepiece of the first transformation step’ in ThyssenKrupp's decarbonisation process as part of the TKH2Steel project, which has the aim of operating the direct reduction plant fully on hydrogen by as early as 2029.

The call for tenders is being organised in close coordination with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK), which — together with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia — is funding the plant project and the associated hydrogen ramp-up to the tune of around 2 billion euros. This will make it possible to cease using natural gas at an early stage, while at the same time ‘firing the starting pistol’ for the hydrogen ramp-up in Germany.

The direct reduction plant, in conjunction with the two downstream melters, will be integrated into Europe’s biggest iron and steel plant as a ‘technologically new plant combination’ that will make it possible to retain all subsequent process steps from the steel mill onward. The 100% hydrogen-capable direct reduction plant will have an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of directly reduced iron.

The first use of hydrogen in the plant combination is planned for 2028, with the ramp-up to full hydrogen operation scheduled to be completed in 2029. The use of around 143,000 tonnes of hydrogen (equivalent to 5.6 terawatt hours) will enable up to 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 to be saved per year.

Arnd Köfler, ThyssenKrupp Steel’s chief technology officer, said: “We are delighted to be taking another significant step forward on our transformation path with this call for tenders. With this call, we are sending a clear signal for scaling up the European hydrogen economy and the necessary infrastructure. This step will give our customers greater planning security when purchasing climate-friendly steel produced with hydrogen, and consequently enable them to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their own production. In doing this, we are making an important contribution toward achieving climate targets in Germany and Europe.”