Steel manufacturer Georgsmarienhütte and energy supplier EWE want to jointly implement hydrogen projects and thus advance the region's transformation towards climate neutrality.
On August 24, Dr. Alexander Becker, CEO of the GMH Group, and EWE CEO Stefan Dohler signed a declaration of intent to this effect in Georgsmarienhütte near Osnabrück. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions in steel production. From 2039, steel from Georgsmarienhütte is to be produced in a completely climate-neutral way, partly through the use of hydrogen. Partner EWE plans to supply green hydrogen from generation plants in northwestern Germany for this purpose.
Emissions-reduced steel production from 2039
Commenting on the reasons for the planned cooperation, Dr. Alexander Becker, CEO of the GMH Group, said: "Our steel production is to be climate-neutral by 2039. As an interim step, we already want to halve our emissions by 2030. With our lead technology electric steel and optimized processes, as well as the use of hydrogen instead of natural gas, this is realistically feasible. On this basis, we will produce climate-neutral steel by 2039 and make a significant contribution to achieving the Paris climate protection targets of 2015," says the GMH CEO.
At the time, Georgsmarienhütte was a pioneer in the use of electric arc furnaces in which almost 100% steel scrap is recycled. Compared with the usual blast furnace route, the electric steel mill produces five times fewer CO2 emissions. This figure is further reduced by the use of green electricity. In addition, the company has recently been able to use biogenic coal for steel production, reducing this figure by a further 25% (Green Power Premium).With further transformation projects, + the GMH Group aims to achieve the targeted climate neutrality by 2039.
"Clean Hydrogen Coastline" as a common basis
According to Stefan Dohler, the starting point for the large-scale production of EWE's green hydrogen is the unifying large-scale "Clean Hydrogen Coastline" project. This brings together production, storage, transport and use in industry and heavy-duty transport, thus implementing the political requirements.With this large-scale project, EWE applied for funding under the European IPCEI program (Important Project of Common European Interest) in February 2021 and reached the second stage of the procedure in May 2021.Currently, the funding is being reviewed at European level.
400 MW capacity planned
"We want to build up to 400 MW of electrolysis capacity at system-serving sites near the German North Sea coast," says Stefan Dohler, "from which we will produce up to 40,000 t of green hydrogen per year from 2026, depending on the sales market.