‘Tata Steel will not survive the transition to green hydrogen’, says professor Jan Rotmans


Jan Rotmans, a professor of sustainability, believes that the Tata Steel steel production will not be able to transition to (green) hydrogen in the next eight years. “This isn’t possible. A total of five to six more wind farms are required. Those plans are still in the works.”

Tata Steel can manufacture green steel and decrease its massive greenhouse gas emissions by converting to green hydrogen. The business is now the Netherlands’ top CO2 polluter.

Tata Steel intends to employ the so-called DRI process to produce green steel. This implies that green hydrogen will take the place of coke (coal that has been treated with a specific heat treatment). As a result, the chimney emits H2O (water) rather than CO2.

According to professor Rotmans, this is a great goal, but attaining it will be difficult. The costs of change, for example, are quite expensive. According to the professor, the firm would never be able to cover the costs on its own. “Subsidies in the billions will be required. Furthermore, a large amount of green power is required for green hydrogen production, which is currently unavailable in our nation.”

This green hydrogen will have to be imported by ship into the Netherlands. Alternatively, a massive pipeline must be constructed. Both methods are costly in terms of both money and time.

This is simpler in countries like Sweden, where green electricity has been extracted for decades. Large wind farms are located at sea, and electricity is generated by rivers’ hydropower. According to Mikael Nordlander of power firm Vattenfall, making all residences, transportation, and ultimately industry green will be a struggle for the Netherlands. He believes that we should have begun it yesterday.

Steel is produced in Sweden using green hydrogen. The HYBRIT project was launched in 2016 by Staalfabriek SSAB, mining firm LKAB, and energy provider Vattenfall.

In this pilot facility, the first green sample is currently rolling off the production line. Tata Steel has also just stated that the changeover will commence. But, according to Rotmans, it’s probably too late.

Green hydrogen, according to the professor, will assist enterprises in our nation in becoming CO2-neutral and fossil-free. He believes, however, that this change will be too late for Tata Steel.

“It’s a fairly contemporary facility that produces decent steel in and of itself, but they have to satisfy so many standards.”

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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