GRAZ, Austria — The decision has been made: Energie Steiermark is constructing Austria’s first off-site “green” hydrogen production facility in Gabersdorf, southern Styria. The company is investing around 10 million euros in the construction of an innovative generation plant covering an area of 10,000 square metres. The plant will combine a large-scale photovoltaic system comprising 6,000 square metres of solar collectors with resources from an existing biogas plant.
“This is an additional step in our comprehensive sustainability strategy. Construction will start in spring 2022, and completion is planned for the end of the year,” according to Chief Executives Christian Purrer and Martin Graf. The aim is to produce up to 300 tons of green hydrogen per year, which would enable a hydrogen-powered car to cover over 40 million kilometres. The project will save up to 5,200 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
There is great interest in green hydrogen. A first supply contract has now been signed with Wolfram Bergbau & Hütten AG (Sandvik Group). The industrial company based in St. Martin has secured 840,000 cubic metres of hydrogen (around 70 tons) annually in order to make its production even more sustainable from October 2022.
“The contract with Energie Steiermark enables us to get started with “green hydrogen” and to strengthen our sustainability strategy. The proximity of our own facility in St. Martin im Sulmtal to the hydrogen production plant represents an additional contribution to supplying our state-of-the-art metallurgy plants from within the region,” say Andreas Bock and Alex Nieuwpoort.
“This new production facility and the accompanying research project send a clear signal across Europe in terms of the energy transition. At the same time, the cooperation with the Climate and Energy Fund will enable us to further expand our green partnership with industry,” Purrer and Graf continue.
About Energie Steiermark AG
As one of the largest service providers in Austria, Energie Steiermark focuses on energy efficiency and innovative services in the fields of electricity, natural gas, heat and mobility. Over 1,880 employees bring their experience and skills into a fair partnership with around 600,000 customers at home and abroad. In terms of generation, Energie Steiermark AG focuses exclusively on renewable energy from water, wind, sun and biomass. The state of Styria is the majority shareholder. Energie Steiermark achieved sales of 1.58 billion euro in 2020.
About Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG
Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG is a leading global supplier of high-quality powders based on the metal tungsten. The company mines scheelite ore at its location in Mittersill. Recycling of secondary raw materials has been greatly expanded at the St. Martin im Sulmtal site in order to conserve natural resources and recycle the valuable raw material.
The project “Renewable Gasfield” is jointly managed by Energie Steiermark and their partners Energienetze Steiermark GmbH, The University of Leoben, HyCentA Research GmbH, Energie Agentur Steiermark GmbH, Energy Institute at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, WIVA P&G and the Office of the Styrian Provincial Government, A15 – Department for Energy and Housing. The project is sponsored by the Climate and Energy Fund, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Kommunal Kredit Public Consulting. Renewable Gasfield is part of the Austria-wide flagship region “WIVA P&G”.