The Government of India has released guidelines for conducting pilot projects aimed at utilizing green hydrogen in the steel sector. Issued by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on February 2, 2024, the guidelines are titled "Scheme Guidelines for implementation of Pilot projects for use of Green Hydrogen in the Steel Sector under the National Green Hydrogen Mission."
As part of the National Green Hydrogen Mission, MNRE will oversee pilot projects within the Steel Sector, focusing on replacing fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstock with Green Hydrogen and its derivatives. These initiatives will be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Steel and the Implementing Agencies designated under the Scheme, targeting three key areas identified for pilot projects in the steel sector.
These thrust areas include the utilization of Hydrogen in the Direct Reduced Ironmaking process, integration of Hydrogen in Blast Furnace operations, and gradual substitution of fossil fuels with Green Hydrogen. Additionally, the scheme will support pilot projects exploring innovative applications of hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions in iron and steel production.
The scheme proposes the blending of a small percentage of green hydrogen in steel plant processes, with a progressive increase in blending proportion as cost-economics improve and technology advances.
Furthermore, the guidelines emphasize that upcoming steel plants should have the capacity to operate with green hydrogen, enabling them to engage in future global low-carbon steel markets. The scheme also welcomes greenfield projects aspiring for 100% green steel production.
With a total budgetary outlay of Rs. 455 crores until FY 2029-30, the scheme aims to establish necessary infrastructure for green hydrogen use in the Iron & Steel industry, fostering a Green Hydrogen ecosystem within the sector. Anticipated reductions in production costs are expected to drive increased utilization of green hydrogen in steel manufacturing over time.
The National Green Hydrogen Mission, launched on January 4, 2023, with an outlay of Rs. 19,744 crores until FY 2029-30, aligns with India's goal of achieving self-reliance through clean energy. It is envisioned to spearhead the global Clean Energy Transition, contributing to significant decarbonization of the economy, reduced dependence on fossil fuel imports, and positioning India as a leader in Green Hydrogen technology and markets.