ArcelorMittal is building a pilot electrolysis plant and hydrogen refueling station on the Eisenhüttenstadt site with energy supplier Vulkan Energiewirtschaft Oderbrücke (VEO) and electrolyzer manufacturer McPhy.
According to ArcelorMittal Deutschland, the demonstration project includes the delivery of two "McLyzer" electrolysers from McPhy, each with a capacity of 1 MW. A long-term 5-year service contract has also been agreed, it said.
The state of Brandenburg is funding the project with €5.1 million as part of the regional innovation cluster. The electrolysers are to produce hydrogen for direct use in steel production. Initially, the hydrogen will be used in the cold rolling mill.
Mobility concept on the mill site
The hydrogen filling station will be used to refuel forklifts or articulated trucks with some of the hydrogen produced. The oxygen also generated during electrolysis is to be reused on site in production, for example in the hot rolling mill.
Jean-Baptiste Lucas, Chief Executive Officer of McPhy:
"This is our first major contract in the industrial sector, one of the most strategic and promising applications for green hydrogen. The work will be carried out in Germany, close to our site in Wildau. This is a milestone in our European expansion strategy and a testament to the importance of our pan-European industrial footprint."
Optimizing overall efficiency
Another goal is to optimize the overall energy efficiency of the production site by testing newly developed smart operating modes. They are designed to determine the best combination of software and hardware to improve system performance. The company compares this to aircraft software improvement, where an intelligent strategy is implemented to control aircraft functions.
Brandenburg Technical University (BTU) Cottbus-Senftenberg is providing scientific support for the project. It is analyzing data from hydrogen use at the demonstration plant to increase efficiency and support further development of electrolysers.
Complete technology change planned
Reiner Blaschek, CEO ArcelorMittal Germany:
"The demonstration plant will serve H2 use in steel production as well as the logistical use of hydrogen-powered vehicles around steel production.
With this project, we want to demonstrate and test the potential of hydrogen in industrial use and further optimize it before a complete technology change and the use of further hydrogen in the coming years will fully convert production to climate neutrality."