Germany’s Salzgitter has ordered a 100-MW electrolysis plant from Andritz to produce green hydrogen, replacing coal in the steel production process at the company’s Salzgitter Flachstahl from 2026, the companies said in statements Sept. 20.
The plant will produce around 9,000 mt/year of hydrogen, with HydrogenPro supplying the high-pressure alkaline electrolyzers, using its 5.5-MW cell stacks, it said in a separate statement.
“This order represents a major milestone for our partnership with ANDRITZ, and the first step in our European expansion,” HydrogenPro CEO Jarle Dragvik said in the statement.
The project is part of Salzgitter’s Salcos program, which it will develop in three stages.
In a first phase from 2026, Salzgitter will commission a direct reduction plant, an electric arc furnace, and the 100-MW electrolysis plant.
The DRI unit will have a production capacity of over 2 million mt/year of direct reduced iron, while the EAF will produce 1.9 million mt/year of steel, according to Salzgitter Flachstahl and engineering company Primetal, which will build the EAF.
It aims to convert its operations to “virtually CO2-free steel production” by the end of 2033.
The first stage of Salcos is backed by subsidies from Germany’s federal government and the state of Lower Saxony, as well as by the company’s own funds.
Salzgitter Flachstahl Chairman Ulrich Grethe said the development of hydrogen infrastructure in Germany was key to unlocking industrial decarbonization.
“In order to enable us to reduce the CO2 footprint of our steel production in the future, it is imperative that we connect to the emerging hydrogen infrastructure as quickly as possible,” Grethe said in the statement.
German gas transmission system operators in July published a draft hydrogen pipeline network map, linking hydrogen production and demand centers, storage facilities, power plants and import corridors across the country.
The proposed network is made up of converted existing natural gas pipelines, along with newly constructed dedicated hydrogen pipes.
The core network will include key infrastructure expected to be operational by 2032, with scope to expand the network further in later stages.
Germany is targeting domestic renewable hydrogen production capacity of 10 GW by 2030, and is also eyeing large-scale imports through schemes such as H2Global.
Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the cost of producing renewable hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis in Europe at Eur6.15/kg ($6.58/kg) Sept. 19 (Netherlands, including capex), based on month-ahead power prices. Proton exchange membrane electrolysis production was assessed at Eur7.23/kg.
Author: James Burgess