Chinese companies switch to hydrogen

Jialong Group is a privately held Chinese industrial group engaged in, among others, mining, steelmaking, shipbuilding and electromechanical manufacturing. In 2014-2016, it produced about 15-16 million tonnes of pig iron per year, but by 2019 it had doubled production and ended the year with 31.19 million tonnes of pig iron, becoming the 8th steel producer in the world. Last year, it produced 35.72 million tons of steel, and its production capacity reached 40 million tons per year.

In March this year, another Chinese company, HBIS Group, the country’s second largest steelmaker, announced the construction of a direct reduction plant using hydrogen that will produce 1.2 million tonnes of steel per year. Later this year, in the first phase of the investment, a plant will be built to produce 600,000 tonnes of steel by direct reduction using blast furnace gas as a reducing agent. Later, the gas will be replaced with “green” hydrogen produced by electrolysis using energy from renewable sources.

In March this year, HBIS signed a cooperation agreement with BHP, one of the world’s largest suppliers of raw materials, including iron ore. The two companies will work together to develop direct reduction technology using hydrogen.

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