Japan’s Kobelco to Build Green Steel Plant for Thyssenkrupp

Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel (Kobelco) is partnering with Luxembourg engineering company Paul Wurth to develop a green steel production facility for German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp. The plant is expected to start commercial operations by 2026. Kobelco and its wholly-owned subsidiary Midrex Technologies announced on Mar. 14 that it has partnered with Paul Wurth to engineer, supply and construct a hydrogen-run direct reduced iron (DRI) plant for Germany’s Thyssenkrup Steel in Duisburg, Germany. The facility is expected to produce 2.5 million tons per year of steel.

The plant will initially use reformed natural gas, containing 50% or more hydrogen, but once sufficient amounts are available, plans to use 100% hydrogen. The facility “provides the flexibility to operate on different ratios of natural gas and hydrogen,” Kobelco said.

Kobelco did not provide further details on the type and volumes of hydrogen that would be used.

The hydrogen-run DRI plant is expected to reduce more than 3.5 million tons per year of CO2 emissions compared with conventional blast furnace operations at Thyssenkrupp, Kobelco added.

Thyssenkrupp has been investing in green steel plants, with the intention of replacing its coal-fired blast furnaces with a hydrogen-powered direct reduction plant. Kobelco has previously supplied a green hydrogen powered DRI plant to Swedish iron manufacturer H2 Green Steel in October 2022.

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