Equinor, Open Grid Europe (OGE) and Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe (tkSE) have been working on a suitable concept for the generation and transport of blue hydrogen to the largest German steelworks in Duisburg since 2019.
Hydrogen from natural gas and combined carbon capture and storage, so called ‘blue hydrogen’, will be key in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors such as cement, steel and other type of heavy industries and transport. With the potential to produce 800,000 Nm3/h (~2.7 GW) of hydrogen, the H2morrow project is one of the largest decarbonization projects in Europe.
The H2morrow project was initiated back in 2018 through a joint study between Equinor and Open Grid Europe (OGE), the largest transmission grid operators in Germany. It highlighted the high potential to generate and transport blue hydrogen to German industrial clusters such as in North Rhine-Westphalia. The year after a feasibility study was conducted with the steel producer Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe (tkSE) to develop a suitable concept to supply blue hydrogen to the largest German steelworks in Duisburg. The gas transmission operator Thyssengas also joined the consortium as associated member to complement the expertise in the infrastructure planning in the Ruhr area.
The project could be in operations by 2027 and supply blue hydrogen to the biggest steel plant in Germany, enabling up to 11 million tonnes of CO2 savings per year while producing annually up to 7 million tonnes of climate-neutral steel.
Currently the project and all partners focus together on developing the appropriate policies and regulatory framework to bring it to a robust business case.
Blue hydrogen can be produced in large quantities comparatively quickly, which means that the hydrogen demand expected by industry can be met quickly.
H2morrow steel currently plans to transport natural gas from Norway via the existing transport network to an autothermal reforming plant (ATR) on the German or Dutch North Sea coast. The plant should have a capacity of around 2.7 GW, of which around 0.6 GW can be delivered to third parties. The remaining 2.1 GW are used for steel production by Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe and provide energy for up to 7 million metric tonnes of decarbonised steel per year.