APEX Group to build electrolysis plant for ArcelorMittal steelworks decarbonization project in Bremen (HyBit)


The German energy company EWE and its subsidiary swb AG have awarded the contract for the construction of an electrolysis plant for decarbonization of the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Bremen to the APEX Group in Rostock/Laage. The project name HyBit stands for “Hydrogen for Bremen’s industrial transformation” and marks the start of the decarbonization of steel production in Bremen, Germany. (Earlier post.)

HyBit is a joint project of EWE, swb AG and ArcelorMittal Bremen. The project costs will amount to approximately €20 million, with €10 million coming from the state of Bremen.

The APEX Group will be the heart of the project—a 10 MW electrolysis plant for hydrogen production. The aim is to produce green hydrogen at the swb AG power plant site in Bremen Mittelsbüren that will be used for pig iron production and processing at Arcelor Mittal’s steel mill, as well as for future mobility applications. The plant is scheduled to be fully functional in 2024.


Mockup of electrolysis unit

The construction of the electrolysis plant marks the starting point for the use of green hydrogen in steel production in Bremen and will become an important building block in the decarbonization of steel production at ArcelorMittal Bremen. We will use the first hydrogen in the existing facilities. Following in the next stages with the use of new production technologies, it will enable us to be producing climate-neutral steel in Bremen by the mid-30s.

—Reiner Blaschek, Chairman of the Management Board of ArcelorMittal Bremen

The HyBit project shows the great benefits that hydrogen has with regard to climate protection, also or especially in industrial applications. With our Clean Hydrogen Coastline initiative and the associated construction of large electrolyzers and the conversion of cavern storage and pipelines to hydrogen, we are already preparing the next big step towards a large-scale hydrogen economy.

—EWE CEO Stefan Dohler

The plan is eventually to scale the electrolyzer plant to 300 MW. In combination, an electric scrap melting plant is to be integrated first in order to further reduce CO2 emissions by increasing the scrap content in pig iron.

In a new direct reduction system, ArcelorMittal wants to produce green DRI with the DRIBE project (DRI Usage in Bremen EAF), which is to be processed climate-neutrally into steel in an electric arc furnace (EAF) to be built. The DRI plant in Bremen will also supply the Eisenhüttenstadt location at the beginning.

Earlier this month, ArcelorMittal completed the acquisition of an 80% shareholding in voestalpine’s Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) plant located near Corpus Christi, Texas. The acquisition, announced in April, values the Corpus Christi operations at $1 billion.

The plant is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It has an annual capacity of two million tonnes of HBI, which is a premium, compacted form of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) developed to overcome issues associated with shipping and handling DRI.

The transaction enhances ArcelorMittal’s ability to produce the high-quality input materials required for low-carbon emissions steelmaking, and reinforces the company’s position as a world leader in DRI production.

ArcelorMittal intends to lead the decarbonization of the global steel industry.


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