🇸🇪 Ovako puts Sweden’s largest electrolysis plant into operation

September 8, 2023

Press release from BotH₂nia 

Ovako puts Sweden's largest electrolysis plant into operation

Steel and recycling company Ovako has inaugurated the world’s first fossil-free hydrogen plant for heating steel before rolling in Hofors, Sweden.

Heating steel products has so far required large amounts of fossil fuels. Ovako’s new hydrogen plant is the world’s first fossil-free hydrogen plant for heating steel before rolling, reducing this production stage to near zero emissions. The fossil-free hydrogen will be used to heat steel at the adjacent rolling mill, but also for refueling fuel cell powered trucks and the excess heat will be used for district heating.

The fossil-free hydrogen plant is Europe’s largest in full operation. The technology solution for industrial heat offers the potential for major emission reductions globally, and not just in the steel industry.

The plant is Sweden’s largest electrolysis plant. An electrolyser is a device that uses electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which together can be used as fuel.

The 20 MW plant will generate 3 880 cubic meters of fossil-free hydrogen per hour. More than 100 containers in volume, every hour, plus the oxygen that is also produced.

In addition to heating steel, the fossil-free hydrogen from the plant will be used for refueling fuel cell-powered trucks.

The technology solution can be used flexibly and can therefore contribute to strengthen the stability of the electricity grid, which in turn opens up for a higher degree of renewable energy sources. Furthermore, the residual heat can be disposed of in the district heating networks.

The investment of approximately SEK 180 million is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency via Industriklivet.

The plan is to use local hydrogen production in all Ovako’s units where steel is rolled by 2030, provided there is a good supply of fossil-free electricity.

Originally published on 8 September.