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bp and thyssenkrupp Steel to advance the decarbonization of steel production; low-carbon hydrogen and renewable power

bp and thyssenkrupp Steel have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) focused on the development of long-term supply of low-carbon hydrogen and renewable power in steel production, helping accelerate the steel industry’s wider energy transition.

thyssenkrupp Steel accounts for 2.5% of CO2 emissions in Germany, mainly at the Duisburg site where the main emitters—the blast furnaces—are operated. By replacing the coal-fired blast furnaces with direct reduction plants in which iron ore is reduced with low-carbon hydrogen, thyssenkrupp Steel intends to make steel production climate-neutral in the long term.

The companies will explore supply options for both blue and green hydrogen, as well as power from wind and solar generation through the use of power purchase agreements.

The steel and energy industries have of course long been closely linked. We provide fuel and feedstock for steel production while our platforms, pipelines, and turbine towers are made from steel.

thyssenkrupp Steel has the ambition to make its steel production climate-neutral by 2045 and low carbon power and hydrogen will play a critical role in achieving that. As part of our strategy to provide a range of decarbonization solutions to corporates, bp is already investing in and working to develop a portfolio of industrial-scale hydrogen projects in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and Australia. With our aligned ambitions and complementary investments, thyssenkrupp Steel and bp can together help this hard-to-abate sector decarbonize faster.

—William Lin, bp’s executive vice president regions, cities and solutions

The decarbonization of the steel industry will require enormous quantities of low-carbon and in the long-term, green hydrogen. This will increasingly require the use of electricity from renewable sources. All this can only be achieved through a well-developed hydrogen infrastructure with a supra-regional pipeline network. The MoU is an important milestone for us to set the course with bp for a reliable supply of energy in the future.

—Dr. Arnd Köfler, Chief Technology Officer at thyssenkrupp Steel

Steel accounts for 8 to 11% of global CO2 emissions. It is essential for the automotive and construction industries and for the manufacturing of industrial machinery. It also forms the foundation for a string of decarbonization technologies, including wind turbines, generators and smart power grids.

The companies also intend jointly to advocate for policies that will support the development of low-carbon hydrogen and the growth of green steel in Europe.

thyssenkrupp Steel currently produces 11 million tonnes of crude steel per year and is targeting the production of 400,000 tonnes of CO2-reduced steel by 2025.

bp is working to pursue green hydrogen production at its refineries in Lingen in Germany, Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Castellón in Spain. It is developing both blue and green hydrogen production projects around the world, including in the UK and Australia.



I agree that we need to decarbonize production of steel and using "green" hydrogen is a proven technique for reducing these greenhouse gases. Of course, they are working with BP and are not starting with "green" hydrogen but with "blue" hydrogen which may tend more towards the color of gray rather than blue. I would question where even the natural gas is even coming from especially if Russia cuts off the gas or even cuts back the gas that they have been supplying to Germany. I also wonder what the energy balance and CO2 balance looks like if they just use the natural for the iron reduction instead of using steam reformation to make hydrogen and then use the hydrogen for the iron reduction. I would expect that it take less energy to just use the natural gas for the iron reduction, if you even had the natural gas to start with.

Currently, Germany, which had been using Russian natural gas for a considerable amount of their electric power is now short of electric power and are looking at restarting some coal fired power plants. Again, They could do something smart and restart some of their nuclear power plants and use both the heat and electricity for more efficiency high temperature electrolysis but for some reason, the politics seem to prevent this. Anyway, until they really have enough "green" electric power so that they do not need to burn coal or peat or imported wood pellets, it would seem to be more efficient to just continue to use coke for making iron. Using wind or solar power or even natural gas for the production of hydrogen when there is not enough clean electric power to start with seems to be an inefficient waste.

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