Karliczek: Green Hydrogen is the Key to the Future Success of the Steel Industry in Germany

By July 14, 2020 5   min read  (914 words)

July 14, 2020 |

Hydrogen for Steel in Germany2

Hydrogen Day of the Federal Ministry of Research in Salzgitter

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek got information today in Salzgitter about two planned major projects on the hydrogen economy of the future. It was commissioned by the Lower Saxony Minister of Science Björn Thümler and the new innovation officer “Green Hydrogen” Member of the Bundestag Dr. Stefan Kaufmann accompanies. The program initially included a visit to Salzgitter AG, in which steel production with green hydrogen as an energy source is planned. The Federal Research Minister then had an expert discussion about the H2B hydrogen project in Bremen’s industrial port and discussed with scientists the prospects for using hydrogen in Germany. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:

“Germany is an industrial country and an innovation country. The steel industry with its high-quality jobs shows this like hardly any other branch. Our prosperity is also based on it. It embodies tradition and the future alike. The Federal Government will therefore adopt the steel concept in the cabinet next Wednesday. Our goal is clear: We want a strong, internationally competitive and climate-neutral steel industry in Germany. This is extremely important for the future of our country. We will also intensify research and development in this area. With this goal in mind, the Federal Government’s stimulus package provides considerable funds for this purpose.

The key to keeping jobs in the blasting industry in Germany is the use of green hydrogen. Its use avoids the climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions caused by steel production through CO 2Otherwise, prices would continue to increase in price in the near future. Today I got information about current projects at the hydrogen day of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As an example, Salzgitter AG has a clear vision of the future of steel production in Germany. Direct reduction through hydrogen is intended to open a new, promising chapter in steel smelting. The H2B project in Bremen’s industrial port also relies on green hydrogen. In addition to the steel industry, green hydrogen is also to be used here for urban infrastructure processes. I wish both projects every success. ”

The Lower Saxony Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler explains: “Hydrogen plays a very important role in the success of the energy transition. I therefore very much welcome the fact that the Federal Government will make nine billion euros available for hydrogen. Research and innovation are central here. The innovative concept of using local resources to conserve hydrogen and thus enable sustainable industrial production makes SALCOS a lighthouse project in Lower Saxony. ”

Hydrogen for Steel in Germany 1

The CEO of Salzgitter AG Prof. Fuhrmann (right) welcomes Federal Minister of Research Karliczek and the Lower Saxony Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler (left). © BMBF

In addition, the innovation officer “Green Hydrogen” MdB Dr. Stefan Kaufmann: “Since around eight percent of the CO 2 emissions are generated by steel production worldwide, this industry should become a pioneer in green hydrogen. I am therefore pleased that my first visit has just taken me to Salzgitter. The future of the steel industry is projected here. The initiative in Bremen also shows that the signs of the times are recognized everywhere in heavy industry. That makes me optimistic that we can keep this industry in Germany and at the same time achieve a lot for global climate protection. Our innovations open up new export markets for climate protection technologies, made in Germany. ”

About the SALCOS concept from Salzgitter AG

With the SALCOS (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) concept, Salzgitter AG is pursuing a long-term climate strategy for sustainable steel production.

Steel production in Salzgitter generates around eight million tons of CO 2 annually , which is largely unavoidable due to the process. The integrated iron and steel mill is already working very close to the limits of process technology and is therefore one of the world’s most efficient steelworks. In order to further reduce CO 2 emissions beyond the current level, the iron and steel mill is to be gradually converted to the so-called direct reduction process (DRI). Under the project name SALCOS, Salzgitter AG is working in cooperation with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and other partners to develop the necessary solutions and integrate them into an integrated steelworks.

With direct reduction, iron ore is reduced to iron instead of coke using natural gas or hydrogen, which is produced here as a so-called sponge iron. The higher the hydrogen content, the less CO 2 intensive the process. The sponge iron must be melted again in electric arc furnaces before further processing.

The introduction of direct reduction amounts to an exchange of the existing coke-based blast furnaces. The integration of these new systems in the existing steel mill is one of the central challenges of SALCOS. The goal is a concept for a gradual conversion.

About the hydrogen project H2B in Bremen’s industrial port:

The University of Bremen is currently carrying out a feasibility study “H2B” with various partners (ArcelorMittal GmbH, Ingaver GmbH, wpd AG, EWE AG) (duration: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022). The study is funded by the Bremer Aufbaubank and the European Regional Development Fund.

The Bremen industrial port is planning a joint project between the University of Bremen and local industrial companies and energy suppliers. It is about a transformation platform for the green hydrogen economy.

The focus is on the defossilization of industrial processes and mobility applications based on green hydrogen.

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