The world first 30% hydrogen/methane blend in a steel plant trialled in Italy

Hydrogen is emerging as a realistic solution for decarbonising steelmaking and other hard-to-abate industries and will play a key role in achieving domestic and EU climate neutrality targets by 2050.

A trial of 30% hydrogen/natural gas blend has been successfully carried out to heat the furnaces in the forging processes at the Giva’ Forgiatura A. Vienna steel plant in Rho, Milan, Italy.

The use of such a blend did not require any plant modifications and had no impact either on the equipment used (industrial burners) or on the attributes of the end product. The test was the result of a year-long series of studies and laboratory experiments.

The trial involved the following partners:

  • Snam, a leading energy infrastructure companies, is the developer and promoter of the project.
  • Rina, an inspection, certification and engineering firm, handled the engineering analyses and laboratory phase.
  • Giva Group, a steelmaker, offered its Forgiatura Vienna site for the field test.
  • Sapio, an Italian industrial and medical gases company, supplied the blend of methane and hydrogen.

Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, said, “This trial is a preparatory step to the gradual introduction of zero-emission hydrogen, initially blended with natural gas and then in pure form, in certain steelmaking production processes.”

Ugo Salerno, Chairman and CEO of Rina, said, “This test is the concrete proof that Italy’s hydrogen production chain can significantly contribute to decarbonising complex and energy-intensive industries such as steelmaking.”

Jacopo Longhi Vienna at the Giva Group said, “Hydrogen can be a great ally to our Group.” He further added, “Increasingly stringent measures on Co2 emissions coupled with our willingness to reduce the environmental impact from our production processes move us towards finding a solution.”

The project would have economic, environmental and sustainability benefits. It is assessed that using a 30% green hydrogen blend with gas consumed across by the three Giva Group’s steel forging plants would result in a reduction of 15,000 tonnes/year of Co2, which is translated into annual Co2 emissions savings of around € 800k based on the current purchase of certificate.

Ethan Mandel

Ethan is the special correspondent for Europe covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact me via email or follow me on social media. I am reachable on Phone: +44 (0) 208 123 7812
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