Hydrogen-fueled Swedish steel plant to get electrolyser from Norway's Nel

OSLO (Reuters) - Hybrit Development, a joint venture backed by utility Vattenfall, has ordered an electrolyser solution from Norway’s Nel Hydrogen for a planned pilot hydrogen-powered steel plant in Sweden.

The joint venture, which also includes steelmaker SSAB and miner Luossavaara Kiirunavaara, said last year the project would be the world’s first of its kind, and could eventually reach industrial scale by 2035.

“The 4.5 MW (megawatt) alkaline electrolyser solution from Nel Hydrogen, will be part of this pilot. The pilot plant for fossil free steel production will operate in Lulea, Sweden, from 2021 until 2024,” said Vattenfall.

The pilot plant is estimated to cost between 1 billion and 2 billion Swedish crowns ($105-$209 million) and its test production would amount to 1-2 tonnes of steel per hour.

The idea behind the project, called HYBRIT, is to use hydrogen, produced with electricity from fossil-free Swedish sources. The emissions would be water, eliminating greenhouse gas pollution.

SSAB’s annual global steel output capacity amounts to 8.8 million tonnes. Nel Hydrogen is a subsidiary of Norway’s Nel ASA.

Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik