A water electrolysis plant with a capacity of up to 520 megawatts (MW) will be built on the site of the former Walsum colliery by 2026.
The hydrogen produced here in the future is green. This means it was produced using renewable energies and is therefore climate-neutral. It will then be delivered to thyssenkrupp's steel mill barely more than two kilometers away as the crow flies. There the green hydrogen will help decarbonize steel production at Europe's biggest steel site, i.e. make it climate-neutral by dispensing with CO2-intensive coke. To this end thyssenkrupp Steel will build a first so-called direct reduction plant in Duisburg by mid-2026, which can then be operated with hydrogen from STEAG. The two companies signed a corresponding agreement in principle on the supply of hydrogen at the beginning of 2022.
In addition to the electrolysis plant itself, the project also includes the construction of two new pipelines to transport hydrogen and oxygen from Walsum to the steel mill in the Duisburg district of Bruckhausen. The close proximity of hydrogen production and offtake is a particular advantage for both STEAG and thyssenkrupp, as the project is not dependent on the construction of a transport pipeline network in order to be realized.
In addition, STEAG's power plant site in Duisburg-Walsum is ideally equipped in terms of energy infrastructure - from connection to the high-voltage grid and a large battery storage system to support grid stability to a link to the existing natural gas transport grid, which could also be converted for hydrogen transport in the future.
Important steps have already been taken on the way to realizing the project: The successful feasibility study was recently followed by the submission of a funding application to the "InnoFund" of the European Union. At the same time, initial talks with potential co-investors have begun. The hydrogen lighthouse project, which is unique in this dimension, has an investment volume of around 650 million euros.
A final investment decision is to be made by the beginning of 2023. The project also has the express support of the German government: Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has specifically pledged this in a "Letter of Support".