Is hydrogen a key for the steel industry?

Is hydrogen a key for the steel industry?

For Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek, future steel production depends heavily on renewable energies.

© Foto: Christophe Gateau / dpa
The Salzgitter Group had recently requested political and financial help to convert steel production to more climate-friendly processes.

“The key to keeping the steel industry in Germany is the use of green hydrogen,” said the CDU politician of the German press agency in advance of a visit to the steel company Salzgitter. At a hydrogen day in Lower Saxony, the minister wants to discuss the perspectives of the energy source with experts from industry and science.

The Federal Cabinet adopted a hydrogen strategy in June, which provides billions in grants, legal relief and concrete production targets. According to the will of the grand coalition, Germany should become a role model worldwide for the use of new, climate-friendly hydrogen energy. In Salzgitter, Karliczek wants to find out about a project with which the steel manufacturer wants to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Coal is to be gradually replaced by hydrogen and electricity from renewable sources in the production of iron. In the end, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 95 percent.

The group had requested political and financial help for the implementation. The steel industry is in a position to make a substantial financial contribution to reducing CO2, CEO Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann said in January. At the time, he would not be able to implement this without public start-up funding. At the Group’s Annual General Meeting a few days ago, Fuhrmann viewed the government’s latest measures positively. The economic stimulus package and the hydrogen strategy are suitable to support rapid progress in the decarbonization of industry.


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