Liberty Steel, Paul Wurth and SHS Stahl to develop hydrogen-based steelmaking plant in France

Tuesday, 23 February 2021 11:22:35 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

UK-based Liberty Steel Group, part of the GFG Alliance, has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Luxembourg-based plantmaker Paul Wurth and German steel producer SHS Stahl Holding Saar (SHS) to develop a major hydrogen-based steelmaking plant at Dunkerque in France. If developed, the plant would be one of the first operations of its type in France.

The partnership will work together on a project to incorporate a two million mt direct reduced iron plant (DRI), with an integrated 1 GW capacity hydrogen electrolysis production unit. The DRI plant will initially use a mix of hydrogen and natural gas as the reductant to produce DRI and hot briquetted iron (HBI), before transitioning to using 100 percent hydrogen once the electrolysis production unit is complete. The DRI/HBI produced will primarily be used in the electric arc furnace of Liberty Ascoval in France but any surplus will be used at Liberty’s Ostrava and Galati integrated steelworks as well as at SHS group’s Dillinger and Saarstahl plants in Germany.

Improvement of the project’s commercial and technical feasibility will take around 12 weeks.

“This project will realize the potential of steel and hydrogen working together to solve each other’s problems. Our industry needs to reinvent steel production fast, as the need to cut our emissions gets ever more pressing against a backdrop of rising global demand for our products and legislative pressure to become carbon neutral. Together with these technologically advanced partners, we are looking forward to exploring the potential for truly carbon neutral steelmaking, using green hydrogen to help us make GREENSTEEL products,” Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty Steel Group, said. Liberty Steel is undertaking carbon neutral programs worldwide as part of its ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030.