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Sweden launches first storage facility for green hydrogen

Stockholm, Sweden - The three companies SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have inaugurated a pilot plant for fossil-free storage of hydrogen in Luleå, Sweden. The rock cavern storage facility is the first of its kind in the world.

In order to achieve the goal of fossil-free steel production based on green hydrogen, the steel manufacturer SSAB, the iron ore mining group LKAB and the energy supplier Vattenfall founded the joint venture Hybrit (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) in 2016. Another milestone has now been reached with the commissioning of the new hydrogen storage facility.

The first demonstration plant for the production of fossil-free steel is scheduled to start up in 2026 to initially produce 1.3 million tonnes of fossil-free sponge iron per year in Gällivare. By 2030, production is to be ramped up to a total of 2.7 million tonnes per year.

The hydrogen storage facility now inaugurated plays a crucial role in the entire value chain of fossil-free iron and steel production.

"Sweden will create new jobs by leading the way in the transition to climate change, and Hybrit is a good example of how green technology and innovation can be used to do just that," says Khashayar Farmanbar, the Swedish Minister for Energy and Digital Development

The technique of storing gas in a lined rock cavern has already proven itself. In southern Sweden it has been used to store natural gas for about 20 years. Now the technique is being developed considerably further with the development of hydrogen gas storage.

Construction of the pilot plant started in May 2021. The storage facility will initially have a size or capacity of 100 cubic metres of gas. At a later stage, a full-fledged hydrogen gas storage facility with a size of 100,000 to 120,000 cubic metres may be required, which will be able to convert up to 100 million kWh of electricity into hydrogen gas. According to Vattenfall, this would be enough to supply a full-scale sponge iron factory for three to four days.

Source: IWR Online, 15 Jun 2022