Severstal eyes ‘disruptive’ technologies for hydrogen-based steelmaking

Disruptive technology is needed to make hydrogen a viable fuel for steelmaking, given its current prohibitively high cost, Severstal tells Kallanish.

The Russian steelmaker views hydrogen as one of the most important drivers of steelmaking decarbonisation in the medium and long term.

“There is a need for hydrogen with a low carbon footprint and at a low cost, but hydrogen from an electrolytic cell powered by renewable electricity costs $5-7 per kilogram,” the firm’s press office says. “This is prohibitively expensive if we do not want low-emission steel to cost significantly more …30% to twice as much. That’s way we need disruption – low-carbon hydrogen for $1.5 and cheaper, and such hydrogen will certainly find demand in other heavy industries as well.”

Taking into account the energy transition and the abandonment of less environmentally friendly fuels, Severstal sees the possibility of replacing coal with hydrogen in the production chain. Hydrogen will thus be used for ore processing, hot iron production and steel production.

“Today, we see that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is important not only for minimising negative environmental impacts, but also important for our main stakeholders, investors, employees, insurers, customers and society, and sustainability our business in general,” the enterprise observes.

The steelmaker and Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, Novatek, have signed a memorandum of cooperation to develop hydrogen, alternative energy, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction technologies.

Under the agreement, the parties will consider launching a joint pilot project for the production of blue hydrogen from natural gas, using carbon capture and storage technology.

The companies intend to jointly develop the capabilities, necessary standards and engineering solutions for the production and supply of hydrogen transportation pipelines, turbines, and hydrogen storage systems and transport tanks, Severstal says.

Both companies also agreed to partner on the production and supply of hydrogen and the development of technological solutions for the use of fuels based on hydrogen and its carriers, including ammonia.

“With the collaboration with our strategic partner Novatek, we are continuing to develop a number of solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of its activities and expand its range of products produced using carbon-free fuels,” says Severstal chairman Alexey Mordashov. “We expect to see rapid growth in technologies and projects for the capture and storage of CO2 as well as for the production of hydrogen, both in Russia and globally.”

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria