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Japan's Kobelco to build H2 steel plant in Germany

Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel (Kobelco) has partnered with Luxembourg-based engineering firm Paul Wurth to develop a green steel production facility for German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp, which expects to start commercial operations by 2026.

Japan's Kobelco to build H2 steel plant in Germany

Kobelco and its wholly owned subsidiary Midrex Technologies announced on March 14th that it has partnered with Paul Wurth to design, supply and build a hydrogen-powered direct reduced iron (DRI) plant for Thyssenkrup Steel in Duisburg, Germany. The plant is expected to produce 2.5 million tons/year of steel.

The facility will initially use regenerated natural gas containing 50 percent or more hydrogen, but plans to use 100 percent hydrogen when enough is available. Kobelco said the facility "provides the flexibility to operate on different ratios of natural gas and hydrogen."

Kobelco did not provide further details about the type and volumes of hydrogen to be used.

It added that the hydrogen-powered DRI plant is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 3.5 million tons/year compared to traditional blast furnace operations at Thyssenkrupp.

Thyssenkrupp is investing in green steel plants with the aim of replacing its coal-fired blast furnaces with a hydrogen-powered DRI plant. Kobelco had also previously supplied a hydrogen-powered green DRI plant to Swedish iron manufacturer H2 Green Steel in October 2022.

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