Essen based energy company STEAG, Duisburg-based steel producer thyssenkrupp Steel and Dortmund-based thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, specializing in electrolysis technology, are working on a joint feasibility study. The study deals with the construction of a water electrolysis plant at the STEAG site in Duisburg-Walsum by thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, the structuring of energy supply and operation of the electrolysis plant by STEAG and the supply of green hydrogen and oxygen to thyssenkrupp Steel's steel mill in the neighboring Duisburg district of Bruckhausen. The study will lay the basis for the subsequent project development. All three parties involved are planning to participate as investors and will actively seek private and public funding.
In the coming years, thyssenkrupp Steel’s climate strategy will entail a continuously increasing and constant demand for green hydrogen. In a first step, this hydrogen is to substitute part of the carbon in the existing blast furnaces, later on it is to be used in new direct reduction plants. In the next few years, the company expects the conversion of one blast furnace to result in an annual demand of around 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen. This demand will increase to some 720,000 tonnes per year by 2050 as a result of the gradual conversion of the plants and equipment. With a capacity of up to 500 megawatts, the projected electrolysis plant on the STEAG site could produce as much as about 75,000 tonnes of green hydrogen each year – enough for the first direct reduction plant of the steel producer. It would thus make an important contribution to the short- and long-term supply of the steel mill.
The project includes the construction of two new pipelines to transport hydrogen and oxygen from Walsum to the steel mill less than three kilometers away. The connection to the extra high-voltage grid ensures the supply of green electricity for the electrolysis; large-scale battery systems ensure grid stability. The approximately 15-hectare site in Duisburg-Walsum offers the possibility to erect electrolysis units with a total capacity of up to 500 MW. It also has a connection to the existing natural gas network, which in the future could also be used for the transport of hydrogen.
The hydrogen strategies recently adopted by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as those of the German Federal Government and the European Union underline the importance of hydrogen for a climate-neutral society. They endorse the development of a hydrogen economy and infrastructure in Germany and in Europe.