The Anglo–Dutch energy company Royal Dutch Shell has joined with 11 other industry heavyweights to form a consortium that will seek to use hydrogen in industrial processes in order to cut carbon emissions.
The new consortium’s members include Airbus, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, leading steel producer ArcelorMittal, the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik logistics group and Vattenfall, a Swedish utility company.
One of its initial projects will be in Hamburg, where it will seek to produce steel that is carbon neutral. First, Vattenfall will shut down its Moorburg power station, which is coal-fired, and it will convert it to use green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy and does not release any carbon emissions when combusted. Moorburg provides an ideal location as ships can deliver hydrogen to the site directly via the Elbe river, and it is already connected to low- and high-voltage electricity grids.
According to Reuters, Airbus Commercial Germany’s Head, Andre Walter, also emphasised the relevance of hydrogen for aviation:
“For Airbus, hydrogen is a key technology for the aviation industry of the future. This is not only about the propulsion of aircraft, but also about the infrastructure of our production site.”
Airbus and Shell, which also makes lubricant products, believe that participation in the Hamburg consortium will help them develop new products for after the energy transition. The EU has committed billions of euros in backing for green hydrogen, along with its member states. Within a decade and with the help of subsidies, this could be cost-competitive with grey hydrogen, which is made from natural gas.