Duferco to produce green hydrogen at Sicilian plant

Italian sections producer Duferco is investing in hydrogen to decarbonise the steelmaking process at its plant near Messina, Sicily.

Funded by the national post-Covid recovery plan, PNRR, through the Region of Sicily, Duferco, in partnership with Caronte and Nippon Gases Italia, will build a green hydrogen production facility with an annual output of 100 tonnes. The plant will be powered by a 4 megawatts photovoltaic plant and will have a 1MW electrolyser.

The overall investment will be €10 million ($10.8m), including €7.5m injected by the regional authority thanks to the PNRR. The hydrogen produced will feed not only the steel mill but also other companies in the area.

“The Hydrogen Valley in Sicily will contribute to achieving one of the main European objectives in the energy transition as envisaged by RePowerEU … The energy transition will only be a concrete challenge if it leads to employment and economic development. Otherwise, the risk is that it remains an overly ambitious mission,” Duferco chief executive Antonio Gozzi comments in a note sent to Kallanish.

Other steel producers are investing in hydrogen technology for clean energy. Steel equipment maker Tenova, in partnership with Italian energy companies De Nora, Snam and other European steelmakers, is working on the “hybrid technologies for sustainable steel reheating” (HyTecHeat) project. Funded by the European Commission for a budget of about €3.3m, HyTecHeat will test hybrid heating technologies based on natural gas, with a progressive increase of hydrogen up to 100%, for downstream processing (see Kallanish 4 March).

Natalia Capra France