FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German steelmaker Salzgitter this month started to produce hydrogen using wind power with a view to reducing carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) long term while the European head of ArcelorMittal also told Reuters the company wants to decarbonise its processes.
The efforts come in the context of national and EU level goals to cut emissions to protect the climate, while ensuring key industries can survive amid rising environmental costs.
Following are green transformation initiatives by steelmakers in Europe’s biggest economy.
Germany’s steel industry emitted 58 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2019.
Plans to successively replace coal-based gases necessary for smelting iron ore with hydrogen. Will use natural gas as a less CO2 intensive transition fuel.
Has pre-emptively covered much of its output up to 2030 with EU carbon emissions allowances to buy time for its strategy shift.
Is due to test production of sponge iron by direct reduction (DRI) and smelt it in an electric arc furnace at Salzgitter.
Plans DRI activities and green hydrogen at Wilhelmshaven.
In the process of exploring deeper cooperation with Equinor which produces hydrogen from natural gas for Thyssenkrupp’s Duisburg plant, and with pipeline operator Open Grid Europe (OGE).
“Blue hydrogen” would be sequestered and transported to the Dutch or Norwegian North Sea to be stored in empty subsea oil and gas fields.
Has identified potential hydrogen production sites at Dutch and German offshore wind farms.
Pooling small electrolysis plants with E.ON and signed up to use RWE produced hydrogen.
Thyssenkrupp unit Uhde Chlorine Engineers (TKUCE) will scale up electrolysis capacity and is eyeing cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
Is testing plans to deploy “smart carbon” using carbon recycled from bioenergy and green power and carbon capture and usage (CCU), while also pursuing DRI plans already in practice in Hamburg at Bremen and Eisenhuettenstadt.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Elaine Hardcastle)