Hydrogen Storage Facility in Sweden Has Reached Halfway Point in Construction

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Hydrogen Storage Facility in Sweden is Has Reached Halfway Point in Construction

A rock cavern for green hydrogen storage in Luleå, northern Sweden, is in construction and Vattenfall Media Relations announces that the hydrogen storage facility in Sweden has reached halfway point in construction.

Right now the steel lining is being installed inside Svartöberget. The storage facility, which will be an important part of the value chain for fossil-free iron and steel production, is planned to be in operation by the summer and runs tests there until 2024.

The initiative was launched in 2016
The initiative was launched in 2016 and the hydrogen storage facility will play a very important role in the overall value chain for fossil-free iron and steel production. Production can take place without a storage facility, but storage provides the opportunity to vary the demand for electricity and ensure stable production. By producing hydrogen gas when there is a lot of electricity, for example when there is a lot of wind, and using stored hydrogen gas when the electricity system is under strain, will ensure production.

Construction works started in May 2021
Construction works started in May 2021. Vattenfall says that several parts of the pilot plant have been installed. This includes the pipelines to transport hydrogen gas to the storage facility, rock caverns and connecting tunnels, a ventilation shaft and the compressor that will pressurize the gas for storage.

Hydrogen Storage Facility in Sweden is Has Reached Halfway Point in Construction
HYBRIT wetgas storage, sketch. Illustration: Vannenfall AB

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Construction of the 100-cubic-meter (3,531 cu ft) rock cavern storage facility 30 meters below ground is done by Vattenfall AB in collaboration with Swedish steel company SSAB AB (STO:SSAB-A), iron ore miner Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB). The three owners invested around SEK 200 million (USD 21.4m/EUR 18.9m) in three equal parts, with the Swedish Energy Agency contributing just over SEK 52 million towards the hydrogen storage construction.

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Impressing technology
“The various parts of the plant are now mostly in place,” the consortium said in a statement. “Rock caverns and connecting tunnels have been constructed in the rock and a ventilation shaft has been drilled from the top of the rock down to the upper part of the rock cavern.”

Hydrogen Storage Facility in Sweden is Has Reached Halfway Point in Construction
Mikael Nordlander, Development Manager for Vattenfall’s industrial partnerships

“The hydrogen storage facility has a stabilizing effect on the electrical system. It reduces the risk of the system overloading. We want to develop HYBRIT technology so that it is in line with the future electricity system with more weather-dependent electricity generation,” says Mikael Nordlander, Development Manager for Vattenfall’s industrial partnerships.

Related: World’s First Fossil-Free Steel From Sweden

The cavern is being built via the so-called lined rock cavern (LRC) approach, which involves covering the walls of the cavern with a selected matter. The technology for storing gas in a lined rock cavern (LRC) is well proven and has been used in southern Sweden for about 20 years for storing natural gas. However, the technology is now taking another step forward as it’s being developed for the first time with hydrogen gas on a large pilot scale.

Hydrogen Storage Facility in Sweden is Has Reached Halfway Point in Construction
Martin Pei, Technical Director at SSAB.

The first in the world
“What’s so fantastic about HYBRIT is just how many different innovative parts the initiative consists of. The hydrogen storage facility is a good example of how we’re testing and using innovations to achieve the goal of a completely fossil-free value chain, the first in the world,” says Martin Pei, Technical Director at SSAB.

The finished plant will contain hydrogen gas pressurized up to 250 bar.

Hydrogen Storage Facility in Sweden is Has Reached Halfway Point in Construction, written by Tor Kjolberg

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