LIBERTY Steel Group, part of the British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Luxembourg-based engineering company Paul Wurth and the SHS technology group - Stahl-Holding-Saar (SHS) to build and operate an industrial-scale hydrogen smelter in Dunkerk in France.
If the project is implemented, the Dunkerk plant will become one of the first enterprises of this type in France.
“Our industry is in need of a rapid rethinking of steelmaking as the need to reduce emissions becomes more pressing against the backdrop of growing global demand for our products and regulatory pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Making hydrogen steel can solve this problem and we are determined to work with like-minded people to make it happen, ”commented Sanjeev Gupta.
According to preliminary data, the metallurgical capacity of the planned hydrogen plant will amount to about 2 million tons of sponge iron per year, which will be produced using direct reduction technology (DRI) with an integrated hydrogen electrolysis plant with a capacity of 1 GW.
The Dunkerka plant will initially use a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas as a reducing agent for the production of direct reduced iron and hot briquetted iron (HBI), and then, once the electrolysis plant is completed, it will switch to 100% hydrogen.
The DRI produced will be mainly used in the LIBERTY Ascoval electric arc furnace in France, but any surplus will be used in the LIBERTY smelters in Ostrava and Galati, as well as in the Dillinger and Saarstahl factories of the SHS group in Germany.