German government pledges support for ArcelorMittal zero carbon plant
During a visit to ArcelorMittal Germany’s steel plant in Hamburg, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has pledged the Federal Government’s support for the construction of Germany’s first industrial scale hydrogen-based direct reduced iron (DRI) plant.
This demonstrator plant, which will use hydrogen exclusively as the chemical agent to reduce iron ore into DRI, is intended to lay the foundation for a steelmaking process that means steel can be produced with zero carbon-emissions, using electric arc furnaces fed with hydrogen reduced DRI and scrap metal, powered by renewable electricity.
The Federal Government has expressed its intention to provide €55 million of funding support towards the construction of the plant, which is half of the €110 million total capital expenditure required. The next step is for the European Commission to approve the Federal Government’s intention to provide funding before the installation of the new plant can begin. Production is scheduled to start in 2025.
DRI is currently produced using natural gas to reduce iron ore. In a transition phase, the process of reducing iron ore with hydrogen will first be demonstrated using hydrogen generated by the separation of waste gas from the Hamburg plant. Once available in sufficient volumes and at an affordable price, green hydrogen – made from the electrolysis of water using renewable energy – will be used.
By 2030, ArcelorMittal plans to produce more than one million tonnes of zero carbon-emissions steel a year in the Hamburg plant alone, thereby saving around 800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
The plant is an important component of ArcelorMittal Germany’s Steel4Future strategy, which involves the conversion of its four German plants – in Hamburg, Bremen, Duisburg and Eisenhüttenstadt – to zero carbon-emissions steel production in the coming years.