South Korea leading steelmaker has developed large-diameter pipes for transporting hydrogen.
These special steel pipes can transport hydrogen at domestic hydrogen pilot cities such as Ansan, Ulsan, Jeonju and Wanju. The Posco large diameter pipes would replace the imported seamless pipes with a diameter of six inches in the Korean market, given that the pilot hydrogen projects recommended using pipes of an eight-inch diameter. Posco would work with Korea Gas Safety Corporation (Kogas) for building a 700 km long hydrogen pipe network by 2030.
Meanwhile, Posco and BHP have signed an MoU on carbon neutrality, promote carbon reductions in the overall mining and steel industry. Both partners decided to promote joint R&D in producing high-strength cokes and utilising biomass; improving the reporting systems for estimating GHG emissions in the entire supply chain (Scope 3); and developing carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies. They will reduce coke use by combining it with hydrogen and jointly develop high-strength cokes suitable for this fuel type.
In a separate development, Metalloinvest (Russian steelmaker) has agreed with Primetals Technologies and Midrex Technologies to supply a new 2.08 million tonnes/year HBI Plant (HBI-4) at Lebedinsky GOK (LGOK), Gubkin, Russia. Investment in the plant’s construction is estimated at over US$ 600 million and is expected to become operational in the first half of 2025.
HBI is a low-carbon raw material used for steelmaking through the electric furnace route and generates around 50% less CO2 (scope 1 + scope 2) than the traditional blast-furnace method. The contracted plant can be converted to use up to 100% hydrogen by replacing natural gas as a reducing agent, which further reduces CO2 emissions. Midrex and Primetals Technologies will be responsible for engineering, supply of main technological equipment, and supervision services. Earlier this year, Mikhailovsky HBI, partly owned by Metalloinvest through its subsidiary Mikhailovsky GOK, contracted Midrex and Primetals for building another hydrogen based HBI plant in Russia.