Plans are being developed for a major hydrogen-based steel making plant to be located France.
Liberty Steel Group, Paul Wurth and Stahl-Holding-Saar (SHS) today (22nd Feb) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to assess the building and operation of the facility that could be one of the first operations of its type in the country.
Sharing details of the development, the companies said they will collaborate to incorporate a two million tonnes direct reduce iron (DRI) plant, with an integrated 1GW capacity hydrogen electrolysis production unit.
The DRI plant will initially use a mix of hydrogen and natural gas as the reductant to produce DRI and hot-briquetted iron (HBI), before transitioning to using 100% hydrogen once the electrolysis production unit is complete.
DRI/HBI produced will primarily be used in the electric arc furnace of LIBERTY Ascoval in France. Any surplus will be used at LIBERTY’s Ostrava and Galati integrated steelworks as well as the SHS-group’s Dillinger and Saarstahl plants in Germany.
Since early last year, LIBERTY has been working with Paul Wurth and SHS on the technical and economic viability of the project. With the initial feasibility work now complete, the partners can focus on the next two phases.
Phase one aims to improve the accuracy of the project’s commercial and technical feasibility including the reducing gas mix, potential partners and funding opportunities. The group expects this phase to take approximately 12 weeks.
The second phase will then deliver the level of detail required, both technically and financially, for the effective implementation of the project.
Commenting on the development, Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance and LIBERTY Steel Group, said, “This project will realise the potential of steel and hydrogen working together to solve each other’s problems.”
“Our industry needs to reinvent steel production fast, as the need to cut our emissions gets ever more pressing against a backdrop of rising global demand for our products and legislative pressure to become carbon neutral.”
“Hydrogen steel making has the potential to solve this issue and we’re determined to collaborate with like-minded partners to it make it happen. France is the ideal place to try, thanks to its strong industrial heritage, skilled workforce and low carbon energy infrastructure.”
“Together with these technologically advanced and committed partners we are looking forward to exploring the potential for truly carbon neutral steel making, using green hydrogen to help us make GREENSTEEL products.”
Martin Baues, Member of the Board of Directors for Technology at SHS – Stahl-Holding Saar, Dillinger and Saarstahl, added, “This partnership represents an important building block on the way to carbon neutral steel production and will help us to further reduce our carbon emissions on the basis of this technology and at the same time gain important experience in the use of hydrogen in steel production.”