Vattenfall builds underground rock cave for hydrogen storage

The pilot project aims to decarbonise steel and iron production

The Big Zero report

Swedish renewable energy company Vattenfall, steel firm SSAB and mining group LKAB have started building an underground rock cavern storage facility for ‘fossil-free’ hydrogen gas in Sweden.

The 100 cubic metre hydrogen storage, which is expected to be operational from next year, is being built in a rock cave approximately 30 metres below ground.

The so-called HYBRIT project aims to decarbonise iron and steel production and create a completely ‘fossil-free’ value chain from mine to finished steel.

Partners expect hydrogen will play an important role in the production of ‘fossil-free’ iron and steel and could replace coal and coke.

Andreas Regnell, Head of Strategy at Vattenfall and Chairman of the Board at HYBRIT. said: “Storage provides the opportunity to vary demand for electricity and stabilise the energy system by producing hydrogen when there’s a lot of electricity, for example in windy conditions, and to use stored hydrogen when the electricity system is under strain.”

Lars Ydreskog, Director of Strategic Projects at LKAB and member of the HYBRIT Board, said: “With HYBRIT, we’re also working together to develop the technology for storing hydrogen in an efficient way, which is key to being able to produce fossil-free sponge iron, the raw material for the fossil-free steel of the future.”

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