Following Tata Steel’s intention to create a direct reduced iron process using hydrogen, the Athos carbon capture and storage project in the Netherlands has been canceled.
“The estimated Tata Steel CO2 volume available for the Athos project served as the foundation for the project’s conceptual, technical, and economic considerations,” Athos explained. “The Athos project cannot progress in its existing form due to Tata Steel’s intention to transition to DRI technology.”
Tata Steel said on September 15 that its IJmuiden mill would follow a DRI path with hydrogen.
The steelmaker wants to cut CO2 emissions from its IJmuiden facility by 5 million mt/year by 2030, and has been looking into technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen.
In recent years, the Athos project collaborated on a large-scale CO2 transport, usage, and storage project in the North Sea Canal area with founding partners EBN, Gasunie, Tata Steel, and the Port of Amsterdam, according to Athos.
According to a study published in 2019, a CCUS facility at the site was technically viable and could cut CO2 emissions by 7.5 million mt/year by 2030.
The hydrogen-based DRI steelmaking approach is emerging as the preferred and perhaps most efficient option to carbon neutrality in Europe and around the world.
Steelmakers ArcelorMittal and Liberty Steel Group are both establishing hydrogen-based DRI steelmaking plants in Europe, in addition to Tata Steel Europe’s efforts.
Steelmaker sources believe that when green hydrogen becomes more widely available, its costs will fall, making green steel made this way more competitive in the market.
“We want to take a major strategic step in making our steel production more sustainable by adopting hydrogen as the technology to create steel in the Netherlands,” Tata Steel CEO Thachat Viswanath Narendran said in a statement Sept. 15.
“The IJmuiden decarbonization approach will also help us map out the future transition roadmap for Tata Steel’s other integrated steel-making sites,” Narendran said.
The cost of creating renewable hydrogen using alkaline electrolysis in Europe was estimated at Eur9.01/kg ($10.57/kg) by S&P Global Platts on September 20. (Netherlands, including capex). PEM electrolysis produced Eur10.86/kg of blue hydrogen, while steam methane reforming produced Eur4.89/kg of blue hydrogen (including carbon, CCS, and capex).
According to Athos, the project partners will continue to collaborate with Tata Steel to examine the area’s CO2 emission reduction potential.