H2 Green Steel contracts with Midrex and Paul Wurth for the world's first commercial 100% hydrogen direct reduced iron plant, and Kobe Steel partners with H2 Green Steel for equity investment

October 12, 2022

Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Midrex Technologies (Midrex), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kobe Steel, and its consortium partner Paul Wurth, an SMS group company, have signed a contract with Sweden-based H2 Green Steel to supply the innovative MIDREX H2™ technology for the world's first commercial 100% hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) plant (*1), which is expected to start operation in 2025 and have an annual capacity of 2.1 million tonnes of DRI/HBI (*2).

In addition, Kobe Steel has decided an investment in H2 Green Steel and has begun discussions with H2 Green Steel for the possible purchase of green HBI in the future.

H2 Green Steel was launched in 2021 with the ambition to accelerate the decarbonization of the steel industry using green hydrogen. Currently, H2 Green Steel is building a green steel plant in Boden, northern Sweden. This project will use only green electricity to produce hydrogen by electrolysis. The green hydrogen will be used as the reducing agent to produce both hot DRI (HDRI) and HBI. The HDRI will be used in an adjacent electric arc furnace to produce green steel for automotive and other industries. H2 Green Steel aims to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95% compared to traditional steelmaking process.

Kobe Steel and Midrex, as partners with H2 Green Steel, will continue to support the transition to carbon neutrality. The KOBELCO Group provides several innovative solutions for reducing CO2 emissions including the MIDREX® Process to support the global steel industry.

The KOBELCO Group remains committed to address the needs of society by using the talents of its teammates and the innovative technologies they create. We strive to change the world so people, now and in the future, can fulfill their hopes and dreams while enjoying safe, secure, and prosperous lives.

※1:A MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plant using 100% hydrogen as the reducing gas reduces CO2 emissions to near zero. Traditional MIDREX Plant (MIDREX NG™) reduces CO2 emissions up to 40% compared to the blast furnace by producing hydrogen-rich reducing gas by reforming natural gas. All MIDREX NG™ plants can utilize hydrogen in lieu of natural gas to further reduce CO2 emissions.

※2:Hot briquetted iron (HBI) is DRI in a compacted, briquetted form. Since hot DRI (HDRI) is not suitable for long-distance transportation, it is pressed into solid briquettes upon being discharged from the reduction furnace.

H2 Green Steel

H2 Green Steel was founded in 2020 with the ambition to accelerate the decarbonization of the steel industry, using green hydrogen. Steel production, which is one of the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitters, is the company’s first vertical business. The founder and largest shareholder of H2 Green Steel is Vargas, which is also co-founder and one of the larger shareholders in Swedish battery maker Northvolt. H2 Green Steel is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with its first commercial green steel plant under development in Boden, northern Sweden.

For more information, please visit the website of H2 Green.

Midrex Technologies, Inc.

Midrex is the world leader for direct reduction ironmaking technology and aftermarket solutions for the steel industry. As developer of the MIDREX® Process, Midrex has designed, built, and serviced DRI plants for 50-plus years. MIDREX Plants produce approximately 60% of the world’s DRI and 80% of DRI from shaft furnace processes.

The MIDREX® Process is widely flexible in reductant sources, iron oxide feed, and product discharge options. Plants can be configured to operate on natural gas (MIDREX NG™), natural gas with hydrogen addition (MIDREX Flex™), and 100% hydrogen (MIDREX H2™). Iron oxide pellets and lump ores, regardless of their Fe content, can be transformed into either cold DRI (CDRI), HDRI, or HBI. Plants can be designed for cold and hot discharge at the operator’s discretion, and proven options are available for transporting and charging HDRI into an EAF.

The company’s headquarters and research and technology development center are located in Charlotte, NC, USA. Midrex also has offices in the United Kingdom, China, India, and Dubai.

For more information, please visit the website of Midrex Technologies.

Paul Wurth and SMS Group

SMS group is renowned worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to provide the industry continuously with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of more than 2.7 billion euros. SMS is the right partner for challenging projects and supports its customers throughout the lifecycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS takes responsibility for its about 14,000 employees.

Headquartered in Luxembourg since its creation in 1870, Paul Wurth can look back on 150 years of excellence, during which the firm has developed into an international engineering company and an established technology provider for the global ironmaking industry. As a company of SMS group, Paul Wurth is a leading market player for the design and construction of complete blast furnace and coke oven plants. Direct reduction plants, environmental protection solutions and recycling technologies complete Paul Wurth’s product portfolio.

For more information, please visit the websites of Paul Wurth and SMS Group.

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