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The Salzgitter smelter in Lower Saxony starts smelting steel with hydrogen

Europe / Ferrous metallurgy
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Natural gas will play the role of a critical transition fuel to increase the input of initially small volumes of hydrogen over time in the conversion of work processes.

The Salzgitter smelter in Lower Saxony starts smelting steel with hydrogen

Germany's second largest steelmaker Salzgitter on Thursday began producing hydrogen using wind power at its plant in Lower Saxony of the same name to reduce carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from its production processes in the long term.

“We are now technically able to achieve significant reductions in CO 2 emissions with hydrogen,” CEO Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann said at a press conference.

The Salzgitter Steel Works accounts for 1% of Germany's CO 2 emissions.

The first volumes of green steel will be on sale from the end of 2022, and customers have already lined up, Fuhrmann said, adding that prices are bound to rise.

Salzgitter has made decarbonization of its processes in Germany a strategic goal and predicts 95% decarbonization of its production by 2050.

The steel company has partnered with Avacon, an E.ON group, to have installed seven 30 megawatt (MW) wind turbines on site that will transmit wind power to the smelter.

The cost of turbines and electrolyzers was about 50 million euros. State bank KfW partially financed the project.

Germany has embarked on a large-scale effort to develop green hydrogen, produced from water through electrolysis using renewable energy sources, to develop alternative fuels and protect key industries from shutting down when climate targets are to be met.

Recall that today the European Parliament on March 10, 2021, by a majority vote supported the introduction of a "carbon" tax (the so-called Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will protect European companies from cheap imports from those countries that are not decarbonizing the economy .

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