SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have commenced building a rock cavern storage facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas on a pilot scale next to HYBRIT’s pilot facility for direct reduction in Luleå, North of Sweden.
This is an important step in the development of a fossil-free value chain for fossil-free steel. The investment cost of just over SEK 250 million is divided equally across the holding companies and the Swedish Energy Agency, which provides support via Industriklivet.
As part of the SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall joint initiative HYBRIT, Hybrit Development is starting the construction of a hydrogen storage facility in Svartöberget to develop the technology for storage.
Fossil-free hydrogen, which will replace coal and coke, is a crucial part of the production technique for fossil-free iron and steel production, where emissions of carbon dioxide will be virtually eliminated.
Hydrogen storages are predicted to play a very important role in future power and energy balancing, and in large-scale hydrogen production. The storage facility is expected to be ready and operational from 2022 until 2024.
“We’re really pleased that HYBRIT is continuing to lead the development of efficient production for fossil-free steel, as we’re now also building a pilot storage facility for large-scale fossil-free hydrogen in Luleå. Storage provides the opportunity to vary demand for electricity and stabilise the energy system by producing hydrogen when there’s a lot of electricity, for example in windy conditions, and to use stored hydrogen when the electricity system is under strain,” says Andreas Regnell, Head of Strategy at Vattenfall and Chairman of the Board at HYBRIT.
“By developing a method for hydrogen storage and securing access to fossil-free electricity, we’re creating a value chain all the way out to customers where everything is fossil-free – from the mine to the electricity and to the finished steel. This is unique,” says Martin Pei, Technical Director of SSAB and Board member of HYBRIT.