Hydrogen is considered one of the most important energy carriers of the future. So far, however, work has been done in fairly small areas. Now steel mills want to use hydrogen on a larger scale with the support of a company from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
DrApex Group in Laage near Rostock will set up an electrolysis plant to produce hydrogen from green electricity at the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Bremen. According to Apex, the goal of the first such project nationwide is to convert steel plants, as one of the largest producers of carbon dioxide in Bremen, to hydrogen, Laag announced Wednesday.
The installation of the system should start in November 2022. The start-up of the pilot plant is planned for 2024. The costs will be in the tens of millions, said Peter Rosner, general manager of Apex, of the German news agency (dpa).
Rosner said the electrolysis system, called the electrolyzer, has a production capacity of 180 kilograms of hydrogen per hour and thus can produce up to 1,560 tons of hydrogen per year, which is used in steel production. As is customary with pilot stations, at first this is only a small part of the required amount, so far the company is working with gas.
In addition, Apex is setting up a trailer filling station so that gas can also be fed from external sources. “This ensures that steel production does not have to be interrupted if, for example, an electrolysis plant is under maintenance.”
During his visit to Laage in February, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) was certain that hydrogen would establish itself as a component of the energy transition. There will be a very rapid rise in a short time. He had promised that politicians would lay the legal foundation and provide financial support. The European Union has also defined hydrogen production as a project of particular strategic importance.
In 2021, Apex put what it claims is Europe’s largest grid-connected hydrogen plant into operation at Laage. In addition to supplying the company’s own branch, the system is intended to provide a business park that is currently being built using CO2 neutral energy.
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