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Green hydrogen producer signs first-of-its-kind agreement with major steel company: 'Increasingly necessary to ensure the long-term survival of our industries'

"The next step is to roll out this new solution."

"The next step is to roll out this new solution."

Photo Credit: iStock

In a historic first for Europe, green hydrogen producer Lhyfe has signed a memorandum of understanding with major stainless steel company Ugitech to create a green hydrogen production facility at Ugitech's plant in the French Alps.

This pioneering partnership aims to replace dirty pollution with clean hydrogen in steel manufacturing, according to Renewable Energy Magazine.

Under the agreement, Lhyfe will install a green hydrogen production unit capable of generating around 13 tons per day at Ugitech's site in Ugine, France. The locally produced hydrogen will power the steel plant's furnaces and heating equipment, with excess supply made available to fuel clean transportation in the region.

Slashing pollution from steel production can have huge benefits for our climate and communities. The steel industry is a significant source of dirty pollution, releasing about 7% of carbon pollution globally. By switching to green hydrogen, Ugitech's facility alone could avoid releasing over 17,000 tons of planet-overheating pollution annually.

On a wider scale, expanding the use of pollution-free hydrogen in heavy industry is critical for protecting our families from the devastating impacts of rising global temperatures — from increasingly severe floods, droughts, and heat waves to threats to our food supply. It's exciting to see a leading steel company like Ugitech, which produces 220,000 tons of steel each year, taking bold steps to go green.

What's more, the Ugine plant is located in the heart of the 2030 Winter Olympics zone. So, in addition to slashing pollution, this project can contribute to a more sustainable model for the Games and winter tourism in the Alps. It's a win-win for the climate and the economy.

"The steel sector is a major consumer of fossil fuels and is one of the industrial sectors that should be decarbonized as a priority," said Philippe Desorme, vice chief executive officer at Lhyfe. "The energy transition is going to become increasingly necessary to ensure the long-term survival of our industries, and green hydrogen is emerging as one of the pillars of this transition."

Frédéric Perret, Director of Development at Ugitech, noted their company is running a multiyear "Hydreams" project to validate that "hydrogen combustion will have no negative impact on processes and products" in steelmaking.

"The next step is to roll out this new solution to all systems for which direct electrification is not a compatible option," he said. "This is the purpose of this [memorandum of understanding] with Lhyfe."

The two companies will now conduct a feasibility study before moving forward with the hydrogen plant's construction and financing. Here's to hoping this groundbreaking partnership inspires more heavy-industry leaders to forge a cleaner path forward.

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