Expanding the pipeline infrastructure is key to facilitating the switch to green hydrogen production based on renewable power. In this regard German gas transmission system operator, OGE, steel producer Thyssenkrupp and Norwegian energy company Equinor have teamed up to cut carbon emissions from a Thyssenkrupp plant in Duisburg, Germany.
The three companies have shown in a feasibility study that it would be possible to split CO2 from hydrogen derived from fossil fuels used in steelmaking, all part of a greater effort in the EU to complete the move to green hydrogen production.
Energy-intensive industries such as steel mills cannot perform an instant conversion to green hydrogen in the absence of mass output and available imports, but ahead of its arrival they can ramp up the necessary process and pipeline infrastructure.
The idea is for OGE and Equinor to supply initially gas and then hydrogen to Thyssenkrupp via pipelines, and transport CO2 sequestered from the steelmaking process away to storage underneath the Dutch or Norwegian North Sea via pipelines or ships.
The partners have identified potential hydrogen production sites on the windy Dutch coast in Eemshaven and at two other locations on the German North Sea coast with possible capacities of 1.4 or 2.7 gigawatts.
Sequestered hydrogen, known as “blue” hydrogen could become cost competitive in the medium term, they said.