Tata Steel Nederland has signed contracts with three companies – McDermott, Danieli and Hatch – for the technical preparations of the hydrogen route at Ijmuiden in The Netherlands.

The cost for this first development step is in excess of 65 million euros (about ₹480 crore) and will result in an engineering package that forms the basis for a final permit and project planning.

Tata Steel wants to transfer to green steel manufacturing in a clean environment as early as possible. All three companies have their own specific expertise that are collectively needed to help Tata Steel shape and deliver the hydrogen based steel manufacturing.

The overall project is led by the Tata Steel internal and sustainability teams, in close support of the main delivery partners.

McDermott is responsible for the construction input and support of the technical project management. Danieli is responsible for the engineering design for the plant and technology that delivers the Direct Reduced Iron (DRI), the first step in the iron making process. Hatch is the technology licensor of the electric furnaces that melt the DRI and help to reduce the oxygen content further thereby improving the final steel quality.

The REF and DRI plant are closely coupled to form an integrated production system.

Climate neutral before 2045

“We recently signed agreements about our future with two ministries and the province of North Holland. In doing so, we have committed to being carbon-di-oxide neutral before 2045 and emit between 35 per cent to 40 per cent less carbon-di-oxide before 2030. This will primarily be achieved via the hydrogen route where the blast furnaces are replaced with modern clean steel making technology that uses hydrogen or gas instead of coal," explains Hans van den Berg, CEO, Tata Steel Nederland.

Talks have started with the unions and potential impacted employees about the change to ensure all employees are fully included. During the summer, the company has organised a first information event that was attended by over 80 companies and suppliers. These companies are typically part of the Tata Steel operations and take care of a large part of the operational maintenance at IJmuiden.

The Tata Steel Academy, an inhouse training institute, has set to work to determine the competencies and qualifications need of employees and is developing new teaching modules. The Academy is also preparing lessons for secondary school students in the region by offering a practical module on how to make hydrogen.