Liberty seeks green hydrogen for Whyalla steel works

Steel maker GFG Alliance has signed a new agreement with the South Australian government seeking the supply of green hydrogen from a 250MW electrolyser under construction to feed the company’s Whyalla steel works.

GFG has also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with energy company Santos for potential long term natural gas supply to its Whyalla operations needed in the transition to green steel production.

The steel works, operated by GFG’s Liberty Primary Steel, already uses a small amount of green hydrogen provided by BOC Gases from an electrolyser at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct in Adelaide.

However the much larger supply being explored under the agreement will support the direct reduction of green iron utilising hydrogen at Whyalla where it will be gransformed into green steel.

ATCO and global gas giant BOC Linde are constructing a world-first hydrogen power station at Port Bonython near Whyalla under contract to the state government.

GFG Alliance Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “Being a key offtaker for the supply of green hydrogen from the world’s largest electrolyser being built in Whyalla is a real privilege for GFG.

“This step is vital in our plans to produce premium green iron and steel in Whyalla, and a huge boost to Australia’s determination to lead the world in decarbonisation.”

Gupta said the agreement gave his company and stakeholders confidence to ramp up its commitment to the production of our four billion tonnes of high-quality magnetite (iron ore), and the establishment of a state-of-the-art green iron and green steel plant which will ultimately be powered by renewable energy and green hydrogen.

“These world changing industries will truly put Whyalla on the map, bringing high quality jobs and prosperity to this resilient region, establishing us as a global leader in the production of green iron and steel.”

Liberty Primary Steel and Mining CEO Sandip Biswas said: “Whyalla has all the elements required to lead the green steel industry in one location – vast reserves of high-quality magnetite, abundant potential for the generation of renewable energy, a cape-sized capable seaport, a skilled workforce, extensive existing infrastructure, a supportive community, collaborative governments, and now secured a pathway to offtake natural gas and decarbonisation collaboration.”

Today’s announcements are in addition to a recent grant of $63.2 million from the federal government’s Powering the Regions Fund to support the purchase and installation of an electric arc furnace and a $50 million grant committed by the South Australian Government pending approval for use towards the EAF.

Further reading:
ATCO and BOC Linde to build world first hydrogen power station
Whyalla site will retire blast furnace, up capacity with new electric arc furnace: GFG

Picture: GFG Alliance/South Australian Premier Peter Manilauskas (centre)

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