Hydrogen: EWE and Salzgitter AG announce their cooperation activities
04.05.2023 | Press release of Salzgitter AG
- Companies sign declaration of intent at Handelsblatt Hydrogen Summit
- Minister President Weil calls cooperation "very good news for Lower Saxony as an energy state"
The Oldenburg-based energy service provider EWE and the steel and technology group Salzgitter AG intend to cooperate on hydrogen projects and issues. This was announced by the CEOs Stefan Dohler (EWE) and Gunnar Groebler (Salzgitter AG) on Thursday in Salzgitter – on the occasion of the Handelsblatt-Wasserstoffgipfel, they signed the corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
As part of the planned cooperation, EWE and Salzgitter AG have agreed that EWE will generate and supply green hydrogen, which Salzgitter AG will use for virtually CO2-free steel production.
"In terms of climate protection, green hydrogen is particularly suitable for industrial applications such as steel production, which - when operated conventionally – emits considerable amounts of CO2 every year. Among other things, we are focusing on large-scale green hydrogen production. Drawing on our well-developed infrastructure - especially in the field of cavern storage and the pipeline-based transport of hydrogen - we are offering the foundation for reliably and safely supplying a major consumer like Salzgitter AG with green hydrogen on a large scale," as EWE CEO Stefan Dohler stated.
Gunnar Groebler regards the envisaged cooperation as "a further consistent step towards hydrogen-based steel production and consequently towards almost CO2-neutral production. " Close cooperation with partners like EWE is a key success factor of this transformation. The planned cooperation is geared towards a long-term, reliable and trust-based relationship," says Groebler.
Salzgitter AG will be converting its crude steel production to low CO2 steel production in three stages by 2033 as part of the SALCOS® - Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking program. According to Groebler, in the future, this will save 95 percent of the previous annual emissions of eight million tons of CO2. "Salzgitter AG is thereby making a strong contribution to the decarbonization of industry and Germany's climate targets," as the Salzgitter AG CEO emphasized.
Lower Saxony's Minister President Stephan Weil welcomes the cooperation between the two companies: "EWE and Salzgitter AG intend to cooperate closely on green hydrogen – and this is very good news for Lower Saxony as a state with a powerful energy sector. This cooperation represents a further milestone on the way to decarbonizing steel production. I am delighted that EWE is making a decisive contribution to Salzgitter AG's SALCOS® lighthouse project by generating and transporting green hydrogen."
Stefan Dohler cites the IPCEI Clean Hydrogen Coastline project as the starting point for EWE's large-scale hydrogen production. "In the process, we want to build up to 400 megawatts of electrolysis capacity in several subprojects at system-serving sites adjacent to the German North Sea coast. Depending on the sales market, we can thereby produce up to 40,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually and reliably structure it via cavern storage. In addition, there is the option of expanding generation capacities into the gigawatt range over the next ten years in line with demand." By positioning the planned production plants at important offshore connection points, there is also the possibility of integrating the import of green hydrogen over the long term. This course of action, however, would require rapid funding approval at the European level.