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Tata Steel Netherlands opts for hydrogen route at IJmuiden steelworks

Tata Steel Netherlands, part of the global iron and steel major Tata Steel Group (Tata Steel), has announced plans to pursue a fully sustainable future for its steelworks in IJmuiden by adopting a hydrogen route. This involves the introduction of direct reduced iron (DRI) technology which can make iron using natural gas or hydrogen before it is converted to steel in one or more electric furnaces to be invested in the future.

Tata Steel Netherlands (Tata Steel) plans to pursue a fully sustainable future for its steelworks in IJmuiden by adopting a hydrogen route. This involves the introduction of direct reduced iron (DRI) technology which can make iron using natural gas or hydrogen before it is converted to steel in one or more electric furnaces to be invested in the future (photo courtesy Tata Steel).

Tata Steel has already stated its ambition in IJmuiden to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by five million tonnes per annum year by 2030 and has been exploring various technological options to achieve this, including the capture and storage of CO2 or a hydrogen route. External experts assessed that both options are technically feasible according to a joint study by Tata Steel and FNV, the Dutch trade union.

The company has now decided it will pursue the hydrogen route in IJmuiden and undertake a detailed assessment in this regard.

We are very conscious of the steel industry’s responsibility to help meet the global climate targets. By choosing hydrogen as the technology to produce steel in the Netherlands, we want to take an important strategic step in making our steel production more sustainable. We fully support the steps to be taken by the management in IJmuiden. The decarbonisation pathway in IJmuiden will also help us chart the future transition roadmap of Tata Steel’s other integrated steel-making sites, commented T.V. Narendran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Tata Steel Netherlands.

Tata Steel will use the coming period for discussions with all stakeholders involved in order to further develop this route. The ongoing feasibility study will also be used to further develop the DRI technology. This includes elements such as economic evaluation, employment, the impact consequences on other emissions, such as NOx, odour, dust, and noise.

In the meantime, Tata Steel says that it is also fully committed to realizing and accelerating measures aimed at reducing nuisance to the environment through its ‘Roadmap Plus’ programme in IJmuiden.

We cannot ignore the importance of steel. Our society is built on steel and everything we do is dependent on it – from eating to washing, and from driving to living. Maintaining its own steel sector is important for the Netherlands and the country’s energy transition. This is only possible if we produce steel in a responsible and sustainable way, whereby we improve the impact on our living environment as quickly as possible. We can only achieve this by a radical transition to hydrogen and using innovative new technologies. In the next eight years, IJmuiden will change into a manufacturing site with fewer chimneys. As a result of our choice for hydrogen, we will work closely together with local and national authorities and our direct neighbours to become a green steel manufacturer in a clean environment, said Hans van den Berg, Chairman of the Board of Management of Tata Steel Netherlands.

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