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Green hydrogen project begins operations at Salzgitter steel mill in Germany

March 15, 2021


A major green hydrogen facility in Germany has started operations, with those behind the project hoping it will help to decarbonize the energy-intensive steel industry in the years ahead.

The “WindH2” project involves German steel giant Salzgitter, E.ON subsidiary Avacon and Linde, a firm specializing in engineering and industrial gases.

Hydrogen can be produced in a number of ways. One method includes using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used in the process comes from a renewable source such as wind or solar then it’s termed “green” or “renewable” hydrogen.

The development in Germany is centered around seven new wind turbines operated by Avacon and two 1.25 megawatt (MW) electrolyzer units installed by Salzgitter Flachstahl, which is part of the wider Salzgitter Group. The facilities were presented to the public this week.

The turbines, from Vestas, have a hub height of 169 meters and a combined capacity of 30 MW. All are located on premises of the Salzgitter Group, with three situated on the site of a steel mill in the city of Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, northwest Germany.

The hydrogen produced using renewables will be utilized in processes connected to the smelting of iron ore. Total costs for the project come to roughly 50 million euros (around $59.67 million), with the building of the electrolyzers subsidized by state-owned KfW.

[Anmar Frangoul]

More: German steel powerhouse turns to ‘green’ hydrogen produced using huge wind turbines

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