China steelmaker fires the world first hydrogen-powered pig iron furnace

Chinese steel companies have been trying to use hydrogen as a way to decarbonise the steel industry

Beijing Jianlong Heavy Industry Group Co., Ltd (Jianlong Group), one of the largest private steel producers in China, has put into operation the world first hydrogen-based smelt reduction high-purity pig iron production line in Inner Mongolia, China, H2 Bulletin reports.

The plant is installed at the Inner Mongolia Sesp Technology Co., Ltd. site, which is a subsidiary of Jianlong Group. The project saw an investment of RMB 1.09 billion (US$ 0.17 billion) and took 16 months for completion.

The plant has an annual production capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year of hydrogen-based smelting reduction pig iron. On its first day of operation, 13th April, it produced 156 tonnes of pig iron.

Commodity Inside, a consultancy, which tracks around 3,000 steel mills around the world, said that the plant commissioning was initially planned for December last year.

In March, HBIS Group, China’s second-biggest steelmaker, announced building a hydrogen-based DRI plant with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes/year. The process will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% to 60%. The first stage that will start operation by the end of this year will produce 600k tonnes/year using furnace gas as a reducing agent, while the second stage will add another 600k tonnes/year using green hydrogen produced through electrolysis using renewable energy. HBIS plans to achieve a carbon peak in 2022 and sets its carbon neutrality for 2050.

Shahkar Ali

Shahkar is the regional representative for Asia covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact him directly via email or follow him on social media.
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