"We see a substantial potential for industrial hydrogen consumption. Taking a developer and operator role in the hydrogen sector represents an opportunity for Hydro to reduce industrial CO2 emissions and develop a profitable and sustainable business based on hydrogen,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, President and CEO in Hydro.
Hydro has set out a clear strategic direction toward 2025 and aims to strengthen its position in low-carbon aluminium, while exploring new growth opportunities in recycling and new energy.
“Hydro has unique capabilities that set us apart from other industrial players due to our own renewable power positions and competence, and large internal demand for gas that can be replaced by green hydrogen solutions. We can therefore build and develop a complete value chain for green hydrogen in Norway,” Aasheim says.
A developer and operator role for Hydro is in line with the company’s internal pipeline of possible hydrogen projects and would likely entail a full or partial switch from gas to hydrogen in plants in several locations. A probable start to this process would be to switch from gas to hydrogen at some of Hydro’s aluminum plants in Norway.
“We have large internal demand for gas used for heating in our casthouses and anode production, and a hydrogen production facility could be placed near the consumption. For Hydro it would contribute to our target of reducing our own CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030,” Aasheim says.
Hydrogen technologies and their applications have been on Hydro’s agenda multiple times for several decades. Several elements have changed over the last years, lifting the profitability in switching from gas to hydrogen at Hydro’s plants. EU and Norway’s ambitions to decarbonize the economy by 2050 require hydrogen as an important energy carrier, and support schemes are being put in place. Additionally, technology cost is coming down and Norway is well-suited for hydrogen development and use due to its attractive, renewable power.
Hydro will revert with more information about the options under evaluation and the way forward at the company’s first-quarter strategic update and results presentation on April 27.