In a significant development for the steel industry and the environment, thyssenkrupp Steel has secured around €2 billion in government funding. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, in partnership with the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, is backing thyssenkrupp Steel’s decarbonization project named “tkH2Steel”.
The “tkH2Steel” project aims to set a new standard for the decarbonization of the steel industry and drive the European hydrogen economy. With state aid approval from the EU Commission, the project has cleared its final hurdle for funding. It marks the beginning of one of the largest decarbonization initiatives globally, promising innovative plant technology and an early end to the use of natural gas. This move is expected to result in significant CO2 savings.
At the core of the “tkH2Steel” concept is a state-of-the-art plant combination integrated into Europe’s largest iron and steel plant. This 100% hydrogen-capable direct reduction plant will produce 2.5 million metric tons of directly reduced iron annually, making it the world’s first of its kind. The project is set to be a pioneer for the decarbonization of the steel value chain in Europe, ensuring the production of indispensable specialty materials for the energy and mobility revolution while maintaining consistently high product quality.
With an annual saving of up to 3.5 million metric tons of CO2, the “tkH2Steel” project plays a vital role in achieving climate targets and ensuring Germany’s economic resilience as a major industrial location. The ambitious hydrogen ramp-up is a key driver for achieving large-scale CO2 savings. The plant is scheduled to be operational by 2029, producing approximately 143,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs, expressed his delight in confirming the funding commitment, signaling that the steel industry in Germany has a bright future with the support of such projects. The project also received praise from Miguel Ángel López Borrego, CEO of thyssenkrupp AG, who expressed gratitude for the government’s support in driving the transformation towards climate-neutral steel production and a sustainable hydrogen economy.