The Hydra project, led by RINA, a multinational engineering consultancy, inspection, and certification company, has been officially backed by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy. The project aims to create a 100% hydrogen-fueled plant capable of producing seven tonnes of steel per hour by 2025.
The six-year project is funded through a European Commission NextGenerationEU investment worth $92.8 million and is located at RINA's Centro Sviluppo Materiali (CSM) in Castel Romano, Italy.
"The Hydra project underscores our commitment to sustainable innovation. While it offers a technological shift, its unique open research nature ensures that its benefits can be shared across the steel industry. Our aim isn't just to benefit one player but to contribute to the industry's collective move towards more eco-friendly processes,” said RINA Chairman and CEO Ugo Salerno.
The facility will feature a direct iron ore reduction (DRI) tower using hydrogen as its primary reducing agent, along with an electric furnace and a reheating furnace, by 2025.
Steel producers will characterize the materials, equipment, and internal infrastructure required, including transportation and storage, through a testing and qualification hub, under the project.
As part of the project, RINA plans to introduce a training center, which will not only focus on the details of hydrogen application but also serve as an international hub to develop collaboration and research among stakeholders in the steel and energy sectors.