The agreement covers technical and commercial framework conditions

German steelmaker Salzgitter and energy company Uniper have signed a preliminary agreement on the purchase and supply of green hydrogen. This is stated in the message of Salzgitter.

In this way, both companies want to make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions in the German steel industry.

Hydrogen will be produced at the large Uniper electrolysis plant, which is scheduled to be commissioned in Wilhelmshaven in 2028.

The green hydrogen is required for the SALCOS program – Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking – and will be used in a direct reduced iron plant being built by the steelmaker.

The preliminary agreement covers, among other things, the technical and commercial framework conditions for the supply. In particular, depending on the availability of the German H2 base network and the specific route of the pipeline from Wilhelmshaven to Salzgitter, Uniper can supply up to 20 thousand tons of certified green hydrogen to Salzgitter annually by 2028 at the earliest.

The hydrogen will be produced using renewable energy sources at a 200 MW electrolysis plant that Uniper plans to build on the site of a former coal-fired power plant.

According to Salzgitter, this is the first step towards external hydrogen supply for the SALCOS project, which will require up to 150 thousand tons of hydrogen per year in the first phase. A pipeline between the two cities is absolutely necessary for the plans to materialize and should be completed as soon as possible. Pipeline operators and political decision makers need to urgently agree on a fast-track schedule with Salzgitter and Uniper.

«The production and availability of green hydrogen is a key success criteria for SALCOS®. This agreement with Uniper is therefore another important step on our path to green steel. The energy infrastructure and the associated power grids now urgently need to be expanded,» said Gunnar Gröbler, CEO of Salzgitter.

In March 2024, Salzgitter signed a 10-year contract for the purchase of green electricity from IG Merbitz Solar to support decarbonization efforts and contribute to the achievement of climate goals. Under the agreement, which will take effect from January 2025, IG Merbitz will supply the steelmaker with about 71 MWh of renewable electricity per year at a fixed price.