Germany is among the countries in Europe working on the net-zero emission target, and the results we often see in the media are encouraging. One of the country’s sources of renewable energy includes green hydrogen. In a recent report, German Steel company Salzgitter in a joint venture with the Eon Subsidiary Avacon and Linde has commissioned a green hydrogen plant fueled by wind energy. This step is a milestone that will help the country develop adequate clean energy and decarbonize the country.
The Wind Hydrogen Salzgitter, popularly known as WindH2, is a vital part of the Salcos Salzgitter Low C02 steel technology project under the company. What is the role of green hydrogen? It will take up the role of the necessary carbon regarding iron ore smelting. It includes three furnaces in operation, and the furnaces will have to be replaced gradually by combining direct reduction plants and the electric arc furnaces.
With this transformation regarding steel production, there will be a reduction in CO2 emissions by 95% in the next three decades. Avacon works on seven newly-constructed wind turbines on the Salzgitter site with a total power capacity of 30MW. Currently, Salzgitter Flachstahi has two Siemens 1.25MW PEM Electrolysis units’ installations on the site and has a capacity of 450 cubic meters of hydrogen every hour.
Hydrogen is already in function in steel production for the annealing processes and the hot-dip lines. Currently, Linde, an Industrial gas producer, supplies hydrogen using trucks and will work hard to ensure continuous hydrogen supply in the future. However, the plants are on the trial operation, and until proven, the company will work on the project.
Renewable energy popularity is rising since companies have no other option since the time is coming when the coal-fueled power will be entirely out of use. In that case, partners are working on gaining experience with on-site wind and hydrogen production. They aim to achieve the know-how on integration into complex procedures and phases of an integration steelwork.
This project is running under a 50 million euro budget, and there will be the founding of electrolysis plants financed by the KfW. Heinz Jorg, Salzgitter executive board chairman, spoke of the project claiming that the company is happy to pioneer industrial use of green hydrogen for steel production. He explained that, like the Salcos project, the firm has the necessary technology to reduce CO2 emissions.
The Wind Hydrogen Salzgitter is a new sector in Germany but is significant regarding climate-friendly steel production. Andreas Feicht, German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs, explained that the government supports energy efficiency. It represents one of the country’s objectives, decarbonization of the industries. This process is promising, and experts are looking forward to the final results.