Ovako’s hydrogen plant receives environmental permit

The Land and Environmental Court in Östersund approved and gave Ovako in Hofors the environmental permit to construct Sweden’s largest electrolyzer for production of fossil-free hydrogen.

An important and long-awaited announcement, which will enable a significant reduction in CO2 emissions from the heating of steel. With this gratifying decision, the hydrogen plant will be in operation before the summer of 2023.

The new hydrogen plant in Hofors will make Ovako the first in the world to heat steel with hydrogen prior to rolling, and is the next major step towards carbon neutral steel production by replacing LPG with fossil-free hydrogen. The technical solution will also enable large-scale and cost-effective production of hydrogen for applications like fossil-free freight using fuel-cell trucks. The investment is made in collaboration with Volvo Group, Hitachi Energy, H2 Green Steel and Nel Hydrogen.

There is a lot of work behind this and we, together with our partners, are extremely happy that the hydrogen plant will soon be in operation. It is an important step for the climate and for Ovako journey towards zero emissions, says Rickard Qvarfort, Business Unit Manager Hofors-Hellefors.

The electrolyzer for the production of fossil-free hydrogen will be installed at Ovako’s site in Hofors. The 17 MW plant will generate 3,500 cubic meters of fossil-free hydrogen per hour. The conversion to hydrogen will enable Ovako to reduce its CO2 emissions for steel production in Hofors by 50 percent from already low levels. The investment of approximately SEK 180 million is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency via the Industriklivet initiative. The plan is for local hydrogen production to be used in all of Ovako’s units where steel is rolled by 2030, provided that there is a good supply of fossil-free electricity.

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