Green steel dream in Germany

At the ThyssenKrupp steel mill in Duisburg, the second industrial revolution is set to start the existing storage location for steel slabs. One of the most cutting-edge factories in the world for the production of green steel will start operating in roughly three years. Green because hydrogen debit is now used in production instead of polluting coal. That is, at least, how ThyssenKrupp Steel sees it.

Bettina Hübschen explains how one of Germany’s biggest CO2 emitters is on track to become a model corporation for achieving climate neutrality. It ought to begin in 2026. Then, using a revolutionary direct reduction plant flow, the first steel from hydrogen will be created. The four current coal-fired blast furnaces will be renovated, and then more DR systems with unique melters will take their place. According to the company’s plan, natural gas will be used initially, and hydrogen will be gradually added until the metal can be cast without emitting any emissions in 2045. In its 120-year history, the corporation has undergone the “most complex and significant restructuring.”

Setting up climate-neutral production facilities is crucial, and there is increasing economic pressure on large-scale businesses to do so. Anyone who emits a lot of CO2 must get CO2 certificates to make up for this. Additionally, the cost of them is rising. According to the corporation, gray steel will soon become more expensive and will no longer be taken into account, despite the fact that greener steel is currently much more expensive.

The location north of Duisburg is the scale of a metropolis five times the size of Monaco, with 470 kilometers of rails, 80 kilometers of ramified roads, employee kiosks, a designated harbor, and continuously smoking chimneys. Alone The Group emits 20 million tons of CO2 yearly through the manufacture of steel, or 2.5% of all emissions in Germany. This is equivalent to seventy-five percent of Denmark’s total CO2 emissions or nearly ten times the domestic German aviation traffic.

Hydrogen is recognized as a hero for achieving the national climate targets in many areas of large-scale manufacturing. For the steel sector, it is seen as According to Hübschen, there is no substitute for the fossil fuel coking coal that has been employed thus far.

Although there are plans to use hydrogen extensively, countries such as The Netherlands are developing massive offshore wind farms and electrolyzers, or factories that can manufacture hydrogen. Germany has 19 production locations identified by the European hydrogen program Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). Though the required amount is enormous, there are concerns about the Capacity even at ThyssenKrupp.

By 2050, there may be a 600 percent increase in the need for green hydrogen globally, according to a report by the auditing firm PwC. the increase in megatons. By 2030, there will likely be about 30 million tonnes in Germany. Just ThyssenKrupp is aiming to produce 720,000 tons of hydrogen annually in a manner that is fully climate neutral. An additional 36 terawatt hours (TWh) of electrical energy are needed for the production. 3,600 wind turbines of the highest performance class are turning in order to produce these in a sustainable manner. The steel business would empty Oberhausen in under 30 minutes, or 17,520 times per year, emptying the up to gasometers that were nearly 120 meters high and completely filled with hydrogen.

The business intends to take a variety of positions while acquiring the magic drug. The explanation is simple: No energy provider can currently predict how much hydrogen they will need or be able to supply. The only thing that is certain is the enormous global demand. Large industrial nations have long started competing for a supply of hydrogen.

Therefore, ThyssenKrupp has approved a number of Letters of Intent signed with supplier organizations. One of them is the Essener Energy firm STEAG, which plans to construct an electrolyzer and is located right outside ThyssenKrupp’s gates in Duisburg-Walsum. 75,000 tons of capacity per year. Enough, according to ThyssenKrupp, to supply the first of the four DR plants that are being developed.

However, domestic production alone probably won’t be sufficient to meet the nearly unquenchable need for hydrogen at the company. You then shift your focus from Walsum to the other side of the globe, such as Australia. The nation has an aim Huge solar and wind farms, one of the biggest coal suppliers to the “superpower of renewables,” and a massive hydrogen exporter all contributed to the transformation. ThyssenKrupp also wants to take advantage of this opportunity. Thyssenkrupp Nucera, an expert in electrolysis, has a location in Perth this year.

But hydrogen has erratic characteristics. It needs to be liquefied at roughly minus 250 degrees and transferred to a carrier material like ammonia in order to be shipped to Europe. The cargo would need to be “cracked,” or changed back into a gas, in the ports of destination, such as Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Additionally, it requires yet-to-be-built plants and electricity for this. After that, hydrogen can be transferred into the Ruhr region via pipelines that are fed with high pressure. Old gas pipelines are to be reactivated for this reason. One North Rhine-Westphalia has an existing project for this.

The process of making steel itself is another issue. ThyssenKrupp acknowledges that no large-scale DR plant that is solely outfitted with hydrogen is currently operating. There are other several procedures that are still in the research phase. The Group hopes to be able to run a modest testing facility at the Hydrogen suitability by 2024.

The group asserts that the corporation is capable of transformation on its own. The initial DR plant will cost about two billion euros, including the infrastructure. The Group had submitted a funding request at the start of the year for its tkH2Steel project in Brussels. There has yet to be a response. If the request is approved, North Rhine-Westphalia will receive 30% and the federal government the remaining 70%.

The city will use the hydrogen to restore economic prosperity to the entire region. Link imagines a hydrogen network running throughout Germany, from the north to the south. Every corner will have a hydrogen filling station, and the city recently ordered 100 hydrogen buses for its fleet.

The North Rhine-Westphalia state government and ThyssenKrupp aim to show that improvements are implemented gradually. The Green Minister of Economic Affairs, Mona, arrived two days before Christmas Eve. Neubauer will dedicate a four-kilometer pipeline on the company’s property. The substance connects to a tiny electrolyzer owned by French energy provider Air Liquide, which will shortly start producing hydrogen for the DR test site. ThyssenKrupp will be responsible for its manufacture.