Nippon Gases and Sarralle: world’s first green hydrogen-fuelled ladle preheating station

Press Release
Madrid, July 2023
Nippon Gases and Sarralle launch world’s first green hydrogen-fuelled ladle preheating station at ArcelorMittal Sestao

As a major player in helping companies take on the challenges of decarbonization and sustainability, Nippon Gases, the European subsidiary of Nippon Sanso Holdings Corporation, in collaboration with Sarralle, has provided ArcelorMittal Sestao with state-of-the-art technology capable of using green hydrogen in the steel manufacturing process – launching the world’s first ladle preheating station capable of running entirely on green hydrogen, achieving zero CO2 emissions.


This milestone, alongside other innovations and technologies, will allow the Sestao steel mill to take an important step towards its goal of being the first in the world with zero carbon emissions in the entire production process by 2025.


The purpose of this project has been to improve the operation of the existing ladle preheated and to replace the natural gas as fuel by green hydrogen, reducing CO2 emissions to a minimum. Results show that all usual required temperatures are reached when heating the ladle with 100% green hydrogen as fuel, allowing slow and fast heating ramps, achieving homogenous ladle heating/drying, showing internal and external temperatures within the expected range between top and bottom of the ladle, and reaching the required temperatures for casting.


The flow measurements have confirmed the estimated hydrogen consumptions and no negative impact on the refractory material has been observed. The inspection of the ladles that have operated after performing the heating/drying with 100% green hydrogen, confirm the positive results.


The development of green hydrogen, a fuel produced from renewable sources, is already a reality. This technology is considered key to achieving a sustainable decarbonization, which is why it has already become a strategic investment at a European level. The green hydrogen supplied for this ladle heater in ArcelorMittal Sestao comes from the Nippon Gases plant in Hernani (Gipuzkoa), and it is manufactured from renewable energy.


On the way to achieving decarbonization objectives, the project demonstrates that the new hydrogen-oxygen combustion system is capable of reproducing the usual ladle preheating ramps but allowing to work with zero CO2 emissions, and obtaining better fuel efficiencies than when operated with the standard natural gas and air combustion.



About Sarralle

Sarralle, a company founded in 1965 in Azpeitia (Gipuzkoa), is a leader in industrial engineering in the Environment, Energy and Iron and Steel sectors. Sarralle is an innovative design, engineering, manufacturing and installation company, with more than 700 highly qualified and multicultural employees located In more than 9 countries worldwide. The company offers solutions that encompass the design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly and commissioning of equipment and facilities for these sectors throughout the world through 5 business lines: Steel Melting Plant, Rolling Mills, Processing Lines, Environment and Energy and Workshops and Storage Systems.


About Nippon Gases

Nippon Gases, one of the leading industrial and medical gases companies in Europe, is part of the Nippon Sanso Holdings Corporation, which has over 100 years of experience and also boasts a major presence in Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, the United States and Canada, operating in 32 countries with more than 19,000 employees around the world. Our presence in Europe positions us as a leading company with over 3,000 employees of which 27% are women, operating today in 13 countries and serving more than 150,000 customers. Safety, priority number one in our company, is constantly improving due to the search for risk factors and behaviours, and the observance of our safety principles by all our employees. Nippon Gases commitment to our customers, employees and associates and to the communities in which we operate is a reflection of our dedication to the environment and to sustainability. Together, we are “The Gas Professionals” and we all have the same goal: “Making life better through gas technology”.