A consortium consisting of Siemens, steel maker Voestalpine and hydropower firm Verbund as well as research-partners K1-MET and ECN has been awarded a contract to build an electrolysis plant in Linz, Austria to make green hydrogen more suitable for industrial use.

As part of the H2FUTURE project, which is mostly financed by the European Union, the partners will implement an innovative hydrogen demonstration plant at the Voestalpine site in Linz.

Featuring Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology developed by Siemens, the new research plant will be the biggest of its kind and is estimated to cost €18m.

The facility will use the 6MW electrolyser with PEM technology to produce CO2-neutral hydrogen, which is then fed directly into the internal gas network for allowing hydrogen testing in various process stages of steel production.

Siemens Austria CEO Wolfgang Hesoun said: "The hydrogen produced has a multitude of applications, for example as a raw material in the industry – as is seen in Linz, but also as a fuel for mobility and as an energy carrier in electricity and gas supply.”

Voestalpine said it plans to replace coal through the use of alternative energy sources such as green hydrogen for production of steel over the next two decades.

Eder said: "With the construction of the new pilot plant for the production of CO2-neutral hydrogen at our Linz location, we are taking a further step towards the long-term realization of the technology transformation in the steel industry.”

VERBUND, as project coordinator, will provide renewable power and will be responsible for development of grid-relevant services.

The research institution ECN is responsible for the scientific analysis of the demonstration operation while Austrian COMET Competence Center K1-MET will provide its expertise in the operation of the plant.

Image: Officials from the H2FUTURE project consortium. Photo: courtesy of voestalpine AG.