HYBRIT starts pilot hydrogen cavern storage in Sweden

HYBRIT partners SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall confirmed on Thursday the pilot green hydrogen storage facility to serve the fossil-free steel project is now fully operational, Kallanish reports.

The 100-cubic-metre facility at Svartöberget in Luleå, Sweden, entered a commissioning phase in June. Upon successful completion of tests, it reached the maximum operating pressure of 250 bar meeting all safety requirements.

It will now run a two-year test period to provide insight for a full-scale facility. The HYBRIT project will demand pressurised storage capacity for 100,000-200,000 cubic metres of hydrogen gas. At this scale, the facility would store up to 100 gigawatt-hour of hydrogen, enough to power a full-size sponge iron factory for about three to four days.

According to the Swedish companies, this is the first time in the world that lined rock cavern (LRC) technology is used for hydrogen storage, as opposed to typical natural gas.

“The fact that this technology is now working is great news, and is an important milestone in the development of a fossil-free value chain for ore-based iron and steel production,” comments Mikael Nordlander, Vattenfall director industry decarbonisation.

“The use of large-scale hydrogen storage means that the industry will have a more robust and plannable supply of hydrogen from fossil-free electricity, even when the electricity system becomes more dependent on the weather,” he adds.

Gabriela Farhangi UK