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Severstal invests in start-up to produce low-carbon hydrogen

Russian major steel producer Severstal has invested into Ekona Power, a Canadian developer of low-carbon hydrogen production technology, the company said without disclosing the investment amount.

Baker Hughes, Mitsui, ConocoPhillips, TransAlta, Continental Resources, NGIF Cleantech Ventures, and BDC Capital also took part in the financing round. According to some media reports, the total round amounted to ca. USD 62mn.

Ekona Power Inc. is a developer of hydrogen production technology based on a novel methane pyrolysis process. Under the process, natural gas is converted into hydrogen and solid carbon, significantly reducing CO2 emissions at a low production cost. Ekona’s fully commercialized hydrogen production plants will generate up to 100 thousand tons of hydrogen per year for under $1.5 per kilogram.

The steel industry has a higher potential than other carbon-intensive industries for CO2 emissions reduction using hydrogen. However, the hydrogen used must have a low carbon footprint itself, and be cost-effective to produce, so as not to impose an additional burden on the cost of steel production.

Earlier this year, Severstal announced that it considered several hydrogen projects in Russia, which could supply low carbon hydrogen for its own production processes or for exports. 
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