Feralpi considers investing in hydrogen for German plant

Italian steelmaker Feralpi is assessing replacing gas with green hydrogen to decarbonise the steelmaking process at its Feralpi Stahl facility in Riesa, Germany, a source close to the company tells Kallanish.

In an interview with Italian media outlet Industria Italiana, Feralpi managing director Giovanni Pasini said the project may become operational in 2027. Renewable energy plants need to be built to feed the electrolysers, as does the infrastructure required to operate a green hydrogen production plant.

While the company is boosting its renewable capacities in Italy, it is focusing on accelerating hydrogen use in Germany where the uptake of the green gas is expected to occur much faster. “Germany is investing much more than Italy in hydrogen but it also has some traits that make hydrogen more attractive … The north of Germany has several wind farms. It intends to build several offshore wind power capacities and this will allow Germany to have several hours [of wind energy generation], many more than today, resulting in negative prices of energy. Using renewable energy at a negative price can be a challenge that allows hydrogen to be extremely competitive,” Pasini says.

Feralpi Group is further expanding investments to decarbonise steel production at its sites in Italy and Germany. The company aims to cut a further 275,000 tonnes/year of CO2 emissions from its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2027.

During the 2023-2027 period, Feralpi is investing €131 million ($142m) in industrial processes in Italy, €233m in Germany and an additional €200m across both countries aimed at developing renewable energy production. Feralpi Stahl and eastern Germany’s largest municipal utility, SachsenEnergie, want to jointly build a 150-megawatt solar park in the Zeithainer district of Jacobsthal. This will provide renewable energy for steelmaking. Energy supplier Stadtwerke Riesa will also support the project (see Kallanish passim).

Feralpi in Germany is located in the industrial area of Meissen, a cluster that uses large quantities of energy.

Natalia Capra France