As part of the Hydra project, a pilot plant will be created that runs on 100% hydrogen fuel

RINA, an Italian-headquartered multinational consulting engineering research, development, inspection and certification company, has announced the launch of a six-year Hydra research project. It envisages the creation of a pilot plant that runs on 100% hydrogen fuel. It is stated in a message on the company’s website.

It is planned that this plant will be able to produce up to seven tons of different grades of steel per hour.

«This ambitious open research project will provide ground-breaking near-zero carbon technology and new opportunities for the international steel industry,» RINA said.

The €88 million Hydra project will be financed by the European Commission and the Italian authorities.

The project will involve the design and construction of a working pilot plant that will use hydrogen at each stage of the steel production cycle. Construction is planned to be completed by 2025. The facility will consist of a 30m direct iron reduction tower (DRI) using hydrogen reductant, an electric arc furnace (EAF) and a reheat furnace.

As Hugo Salerno, Chairman of the Board and CEO of RINA, noted, in addition to technological progress, the unique advantage of this project is its position as an open research center.

“The project is not intended or designed to give a commercial advantage to any individual steel producer, rather to advance the industry. That is why the Hydra project has been supported from the outset by leading European steel producers, plant suppliers, utilities and key stakeholders in the sector,» he said.

RINA, as part of the Hydra project, will also establish a training center to collect and disseminate know-how related to the design, implementation and deployment of hydrogen-based decarbonization technologies. The center will become a permanent international research and development platform open to all stakeholders in the steel and energy industry.

As GMK Center reported earlier, the German steel producer Salzgitter ordered one of the largest European plants for the production of green hydrogen at the Austrian technology group Andritz. It will be built at the Salzgitter Flachstahl plant. Starting from 2026, the enterprise will produce about 9 thousand tons of green hydrogen per year, which will be the beginning of its industrial use under the SALCOS program.