H2 Green Steel partners with Midrex for technology, Kobe Steel makes investment

H2 Green Steel is partnering with Midrex Technologies to use its direct reduction ironmaking technology and also received an investment from Midrex’s parent company Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel, the companies said in a statement Oct. 11.

H2 Green Steel is developing a green hydrogen powered plant in Boden, northern Sweden that will produce 2.1 million mt/year of hot direct reduced iron and hot briquetted iron to feed an initial production of 2.5 million mt/year of low carbon steel, potentially increasing to 5 million mt/year by 2030.

H2 Green Steel’s process will remove up to 95% of carbon emissions compared to traditional steelmaking with a blast furnace and using iron ore.

“This unique project is a ‘lighthouse’ to our industry and sets the standard for green steel,” Midrex Technologies CEO Stephen Montague said in the statement. “There is simply nothing like it — 100% hydrogen from day one to produce over 2 million mt of DRI with up to 95% reduction in CO2,” he said.

The main emission cuts come when iron ore is reduced to sponge iron using the Midrex technology, with the two companies having been collaborating for almost two years to achieve a low carbon solution for iron reduction.

On top of this, Kobe Steel has made an undisclosed investment in H2 Green Steel’s series B financing round and the two parties have begun discussions for the possible purchase of low carbon HBI in the future.

“We are really excited to cooperate with H2 Green Steel as the strategic partners from both aspects of plant supply and equity investment, in order to jointly tackle the challenge toward the global carbon neutrality,” Kobe Steel Executive Vice President Kazuto Morisaki said.

H2 Green Steel CEO Henrik Henriksson said: “As a major Japanese steel maker, Kobe Steel’s investment in our venture clearly demonstrates the interest from incumbent steel companies in new ventures that will move the entire steel industry forward. It also adds further geographical diversification to our progressive group of investors who provide us solid support.”

Platts assessed the 62% Fe iron ore index at $98.75/dry mt CFR North China Oct. 10, down 17.4% since the start of 2022, S&P Global data showed.

The cost of producing renewable hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis in Europe was assessed at Eur20.08/kg ($19.48/kg) Oct. 10 (Netherlands, including capex), based on month-ahead power prices, down from a peak of Eur34/kg in late August. PEM electrolysis production was assessed at Eur23.74/kg.

Platts, is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Annalisa Villa