tk Steel, Equinor and Open Grid Europe to conduct joint feasibility study

by Hans Diederichs

Steel producer thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, Norwegian-based broad energy company Equinor and natural gas transmission system operator Open Grid Europe have launched a joint feasibility study to explore the decarbonized production and supply of “blue” hydrogen from natural gas to Germany’s largest steel plant in Duisburg.

The study’s premise will be the production of hydrogen from natural gas and perma-nent offshore storage of carbon dioxide accrued in the process, potentially in the Equi-nor-operated “Northern Lights” storage facility project on the Norwegian shelf. The study will evaluate several options for sourcing and transport of hydrogen to the thyssenkrupp site as well as options for transport and storage of carbon dioxide. Open Grid Europe will add their knowledge in transmitting and transporting gases to the study.

“We consider hydrogen the key to a climate-friendly future. We therefore also welcome the German government’s intention to finalize a national hydrogen strategy,” says Dr Arnd Köfler, member of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s Executive Board responsible for production. “In the long-run, our goal will be to increase usage of hydrogen produced from renewable energies.”

Equinor recognizes the importance of hydrogen in the transition to a low carbon socie-ty. “New markets are opening, new technologies are emerging, and we wish to grasp these opportunities,” says Stephen Bull, Senior Vice President Wind and Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor. “We are exploring several new business opportunities by reform-ing natural gas to hydrogen, while capturing and storing the CO2 offshore, as a potential way to help our customers in the power, industry, transportation and heating sec-tors to meet future climate targets.”

“Hydrogen is a real chance to reach climate neutrality! To exploit the potential, we have to develop the hydrogen technology and viable business models across the whole value chain. Politics should encourage this with a legal and regulatory framework supporting the climate protection goals”, says Dr Jörg Bergmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Open Grid Europe.

thyssenkrupp Steel Europe is evaluating potential ways to ensure sufficient hydrogen supply for the conversion of its steel production to reach thyssenkrupp’s goal of becoming a climate neutral company by 2050. The company is currently pursuing two techno-logical routes: Avoidance of carbon dioxide emissions by injecting hydrogen instead of coal into its blast furnaces and use of hydrogen to produce direct reduced iron is paralleled by Carbon2Chem. Carbon2Chem is a carbon capture and utilization approach, which converts cogeneration gases to valuable and sustainable chemicals based on thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions’ alkaline water electrolysis and downstream process competence.

Source and photo: thyssenkrupp Steel

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