The direct reduction plant used in the µDRAL project is designed to enable climate-friendly steel production.

© Salzgitter AG

µDRAL - direct reduction plant for climate-friendly steel production

In the μDRAL project project of Salzgitter AG, the world's first direct reduction plant is being used in an integrated steel mill that can be operated flexibly with hydrogen and natural gas. This enables - when using green hydrogen - the production of crude steel to reduce CO2-emissions by up to 95% in the production of crude steel.

Direct reduction enables the avoidance of CO2 in steel production and is a significant sub-step of Salzgitter AG's SALCOS® project. The name μ here stands for the downsizing scale of the planned direct reduction plant: The project is initially intended to serve as a demonstration of the process and to gain the necessary knowledge in order to be able to rely on direct reduction plants on a larger scale in a few years' time.

In direct reduction, iron ore is first converted into sponge iron by means of a reducing gas such as natural gas or hydrogen. In this process, iron ore is converted into sponge iron at positive pressure and approx. 1.00 Celsius, oxygen is dissolved from the iron ore without it melting. In contrast to steel production in blast furnaces, no CO2but water, which in turn can be reused.

The direct reduction plant µDRAL can use use natural gas and hydrogen in flexible proportions. Thus, the plant can use 100% natural gas as a reducing agent, but also 100% hydrogen and any mixing ratio. In this way, the natural gas share can be successively reduced and finally completely replaced by hydrogen. The supply of the demonstrator plant with green hydrogen is to be carried out with the subprojects WindH2 and GrInHy2.0.

©Salzgitter AG

The green hydrogen is to be produced directly on the plant site. © Salzgitter AG

13.6 million will be invested in the construction of the μDRAL plant. The environmental innovation program of the German government supports the project with a quota of 40%. The partner in project planning and implementation as well as the technological supplier of the µDRAL plant is Tenova, an international manufacturer of equipment for the metal and mining industry. Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH is providing the necessary infrastructure

More about the project


©Salzgitter AG - Logo

Salzgitter AG is a steel and technology group with over 24,000 employees. Hydrogen plays a crucial role for the company in the production of climate-neutral steel.

Logo: © Salzgitter AG


HyExpert: Hydrogen Region SouthEastLower Saxony

HyExpert: Hydrogen Region SouthEastLower Saxony


©MUSource: Alliance for the Region

The hydrogen region of South-East Lower Saxony extends from the district of Goslar in the south to the district of Gifhorn in the north.

HyExpert: Hydrogen Region SouthEastLower Saxony

The Braunschweig - Wolfsburg region is facing a challenge that many regions in Germany are facing - structural change. In the region, the change primarily affects the industrial sector: For example, in the area of production for steel production and the vehicle industry, the transformation to climate neutrality is to succeed. Hydrogen will play a key role in this. Inter-municipal cooperation in the region has already begun in full and the players are providing important impetus.

The Braunschweig - Wolfsburg region is located in the heart of Germany. It includes the districts of Gifhorn, Goslar, Helmstedt, Peine and Wolfenbüttel as well as the independent cities of Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Wolfsburg. It thus stretches from the northern Harz Mountains in the south to the Heath in the north and forms a special economic, research and cultural region. It is home to over 1.1 million inhabitants and has one of the highest rates of value creation in the entire state.

In southeastern Lower Saxony, traditional economic sectors meet innovative industries. Coupled with a diverse research landscape, the region is a formative industrial and research location not only for Lower Saxony, but also for all of Germany.

In the automotive and steel industries as well as in small and medium-sized enterprises, the challenge of transformation is increasing, which is why the region is currently undergoing structural change and will continue to do so in the coming years. Various project partners from the region are therefore looking for new approaches to solutions for phasing out the use of fossil fuels for power generation, for the use of alternative drives in mobility, and for CO2-neutral energy-intensive production.

Source: Alliance for the Region

There are already numerous projects, companies and institutions in the region that are active in the field of hydrogen and are pioneering for the region and Lower Saxony (excerpt).

These include, for example:

Drive forward networking

Accordingly, numerous promising projects already exist in the region, but they will be linked even more closely in the future. For this project, the "Hydrogen Region South-East Lower Saxony" received funding as part of the HyLand competition as a "HyExpert" region. The federal government's HyExpert funding is currently enabling the development of a holistic concept for the production and use of green hydrogen in the areas of mobility and industry. The results are to be presented in November 2023.

Within the framework of the concept for the hydrogen region, synergies are to be better utilized in order to advance the development of a sustainable regional hydrogen economy with the numerous partners from business, science and politics who supported the region's application.

Hydrogen is to be used in the region in a variety of areas

Concept for the hydrogen region

A consortium of providers consisting of Allianz für die Region GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, and IAV GmbH was selected to carry out and prepare the concept with three focal points for the region.

Development of the umbrella brand / regional office:

  • Development of an umbrella brand and elaboration of a structural and financing model for a regional office to strengthen cooperative relationships among the hydrogen initiatives, institutions and stakeholders in the region.

Regional value chain:

  • Investigation of regional value chains in the production, transport and use of hydrogen.

Gas station infrastructure:

  • To enable the development of a demand forecast, location identification and a potential expansion scenario for a refueling station infrastructure on road and rail.

Kick-off event HyExpert-Hydrogen Region SouthEastLowerSaxony

On February 16, 2023, regional stakeholders are invited to learn more about the concept at an event and to further promote this forward-looking topic in the region, e.g., by approaching additional companies and institutions. In the further course of the year, specialist events will be held on the above-mentioned areas and the results will be presented at a final event in November.

More information and contact:

For more information, visit the Alliance for the Region. To the website

In addition, Sven Pape from the Alliance for the Region presented some of the activities at a networking event of the regional hydrogen networks:

Alliance for the region

E-mail: sven.pape@allianz-fuer-die-region.de
0531 1218 - 205

Hydrogen Technology Specialist IHK

Hydrogen Technology Specialist IHK


Hydrogen Technology Specialist IHK

Title of the offer: Hydrogen Technology Specialist IHK

Provider: Heinze Akademie GmbH

Type of qualification: IHK certificate per module or an overarching IHK certificate "Hydrogen Technology Specialist IHK", on which the module contents and your achievements are documented.

The certificates contain co-branding between HKBiS (100% subsidiary of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce) and Heinze Akademie.

EQF level: 6

Brief description: The in-service digital hydrogen course was developed together with experts from industry and research and provides basic and expert knowledge in the field of hydrogen technology. The IHK certificate course is divided into three modules that can be booked as a block or separately, depending on prior knowledge. The course starts in groups and promotes teamwork.

Target group: Module A is aimed at specialists and managers who want to get started in the subject. Modules B and C are aimed at technical specialists, in particular state-certified technicians, engineers and industrial foremen, who would like to build up expert knowledge in the field of hydrogen technology.

Extent in hours: 100 hours or 140 teaching units per module (1 unit = 45 minutes)

Duration: 2.5 months with approx. 10 hours of workload per week

Full-time / Part-time / Part-time: Part-time

Location: Remote (100% online with 20% synchronous (contact hours with instructors)).

Accreditation / Certification? Yes (SGB III and AZAV, ZFU)

Cost: 1.470,00 Euro per module

Publicly eligible? Yes. For job seekers, the education voucher can be used. For employees and companies, there is the employee subsidy via the Qualification Opportunities Act (QCG), with which up to 100% of the further education costs can be reimbursed.

Start date / cycle: The parallel start of all three modules is planned in the following periods, further and company-specific start dates on request:




Further information: To the website

Source: Heinze Academy

"Hydrogen is seen as playing a decisive key role in the course of the energy transition. The enormous, Germany-wide investments in the emerging hydrogen industry speak for themselves. However, no projects can be made a success without qualified specialists. High-quality qualification programs lay the foundation."

Jan Heinze, Heinze Academy

©UVNSource: AdobeStock_192820721

CHESS - Development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Wesermarsch region

CHESS - Development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Wesermarsch region


CHESS - Development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Wesermarsch region

As part of the CHESS (Compressed Hydrogen Energy Storage Solution) project in Huntorf (Wesermarsch district), EWE and Uniper want to jointly convert their respective existing gas and electricity infrastructures. The aim is to build a new hydrogen infrastructure on site quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

As part of the CHESS joint project, regionally produced electricity from wind and sun will be fed into a 30-megawatt electrolyzer via the existing power grid for green hydrogen production. This will be built jointly by EWE and Uniper in a planned joint venture. The electrolysis process uses electricity to split water into hydrogen. If green electricity is used for this, green hydrogen is produced. This hydrogen can then be transported directly to consumers via the gas grid.

Hydrogen production and hydrogen storage thought together

In addition to the production and transport of green hydrogen, the bridge to another EWE project is to be realized as part of CHESS: The connection of the hydrogen infrastructure to an underground cavern storage facility of EWE in Huntorf with the aim of storing green hydrogen and making it available on demand.

This storage project is part of a connecting large-scale project called "Clean Hydrogen Coastline". It brings together the generation, transport, storage and use of green hydrogen in industry and heavy-duty transport. With this large-scale project, EWE applied for funding under the European IPCEI program (Important Project of Common European Interest) in February 2021 and reached the second stage of the procedure in May 2021. Funding is currently being reviewed at European level.

The connection of the EWE Uniper project CHESS to the cavern storage facility in Huntorf creates some synergies:

  • Hydrogen generation can be grid-serving, i.e. when there is plenty of wind or sun and consumer energy demand is low, energy can be stored in very large quantities for times of "lulls" and used again later. Seasonal differences in wind and solar conditions can thus be compensated for.
  • Making hydrogen available on demand improves the security of supply for hydrogen users. Large-scale hydrogen storage makes this possible.
  • The cavern site in Huntorf offers potential for an expansion of hydrogen production. Depending on the rate of expansion of the regional hydrogen economy, it would be possible to gradually expand the electrolysis capacity up to the gigawatt scale.

This is how it should continue

EWE and Uniper signed a cooperation agreement at the beginning of 2021 to implement the CHESS project. According to the agreement, a joint 30-megawatt electrolyzer will supply the first hydrogen customers from mid-2026. The speed at which the subsequent expansion of hydrogen production capacities can be implemented will be determined by the customers' hydrogen sales and demand.

More about the project

Uniper is an international energy company with around 11,500 employees in more than 40 countries. The company plans to become CO2-neutral in European power generation by 2035. With around 33 gigawatts of installed capacity, Uniper is one of the world's largest power producers.

© Uniper

©TU Clausthal

With around 9,100 employees, EWE AG is one of Germany's largest utilities focusing on corresponding infrastructure in the hydrogen sector.


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    Hydrogen buses for Oldenburg

    Hydrogen buses for Oldenburg


    Jürgen Krogmann (Mayor of Oldenburg), Michael Emschermann (Managing Director of VWG (back)), Lower Saxony's Environment and Energy Minister Olaf Lies, Susanne Menge (Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of VWG) and Joao Paulo Rosado Caeiro (CeatanoBus) inspecting a demonstration bus.

    © VWG Oldenburg


    Verkehr und Wasser GmbH (VWG) from Oldenburg wants to convert parts of its bus fleet to hydrogen drives in 2022 - as the first bus company in Lower Saxony. The first hydrogen buses are to drive on Oldenburg's roads in the summer and have a range of about 400 kilometres.

    VWG deploys four hydrogen buses in regular service! (09.02.2023)

    On February 9, 2023, four hydrogen buses were presented in Oldenburg, which will be used immediately in the regular service of the local transport company Verkehr und Wasser GmbH (VWG) in Oldenburg.

    The buses were manufactured by the Portuguese manufacturer CaetanoBus, which had won a Europe-wide tender. Toyota is supplying the complete fuel cell drive system for the bus. The fuel cell, the traction batteries and the hydrogen tanks are arranged on the roof of the buses to make optimum use of the interior space. As a result, the buses each offer space for 33 seated passengers, 39 standing passengers and two wheelchair spaces.

    A vehicle costs around 610,000 euros, with funding of 80 percent. This comes from funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the state of Lower Saxony.
    The buses are to be refueled at the Oldenburg hydrogen filling station operated by H2 MOBILITY Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG - the pressure stage required for refueling was financed by EWE AG.

    The Portuguese manufacturer CeatanoBus won a Europe-wide tender. The fuel cell drive of the buses will be supplied by Toyota. In order to make the best possible use of the interior space, the traction batteries, hydrogen tanks and the fuel cell will be placed on the roof of the buses. This leaves space for 33 seats, 39 standing places and two wheelchair places in the interior.

    For appropriate repairs and maintenance, the VWG depot is to be converted so that all work can be carried out directly on site. The buses will receive hydrogen at the hydrogen filling station of H2 Mobility in Oldenburg - a filling process should take about 10 minutes.

    Environment Minister Olaf Lies was on hand to inspect the CeatanoBus demonstration bus in Oldenburg in November and noted: "Hydrogen is a central building block of the energy transition as an energy carrier and raw material. It's great that VWG is the first bus company in Lower Saxony to jump straight onto this trend and will be using several hydrogen buses in regular service right away."

    The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by the state of Lower Saxony.


    Verkehr und Wasser GmbH (VWG for short) is active in the field of drinking water supply in Oldenburg and as a transport company in the Oldenburg region and relies on an environmentally friendly bus fleet in the mobility sector.

    © VWG Oldenburg