At our plant in Hamburg, Germany we operate Europe’s only DRI-EAF facility. The site is therefore a natural home for our flagship Innovative DRI technology pilot. Hamburg is already one of Europe’s most energy efficient steel plants, using natural gas to reduce iron ore to make DRI, which is then fed into an EAF alongside scrap.

Our €110 million Hamburg H2 project, for which we have received a commitment from the German government to provide €55 million of funding support, is designed to test the ability to replace the use of natural gas with hydrogen to reduce iron ore and form DRI on an industrial scale, as well as then testing how that carbon-free DRI reacts in an EAF.

Watch the video below to find out more about this process:

The process of reducing iron ore with hydrogen will first be tested using grey hydrogen generated from the capture of waste gases at the steel plant which then goes through a process called pressure swing absorption. We intend the plant to become operational before the end of 2025, initially producing an annual volume of 100,000 tonnes of DRI.

In the future, we anticipate the plant to run on green hydrogen when it is available in sufficient quantities at affordable prices, with the clean energy for hydrogen production potentially coming from wind farms off the coast of Northern Germany.

Funding secured from German Federal Government 

During a visit to ArcelorMittal Germany’s Hamburg steel plant in September 2021, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze pledged the Federal Government’s support for the construction of Germany’s first industrial scale hydrogen-based DRI plant.

The Federal Government expressed its intention to provide €55 million of funding support towards the construction of the plant, which is half of the €110 million total capital expenditure required. The next step is for the European Commission to approve the Federal Government's intention to provide funding before the installation of the new plant can begin. Production is scheduled to start in 2025.

The event at ArcelorMittal's plant in Hamburg was attended by Svenja Schulze, German Federal Environment Minister, Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture in Hamburg, Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Innovation in Hamburg, and Dr. Uwe Braun, CEO ArcelorMittal Hamburg.