Austria’s first green hydrogen production site has commenced operations in Styria, marking the beginning of a comprehensive plan to expand the electrolysis capacity in the mountainous province to over 150 MW in an initial push. The pilot plant, located in the Gabersdorf municipality, features a 1 MW electrolyser powered by a nearby solar park with a collector area of 6,000 square metres. When fully expanded, the site is expected to produce 300 tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually.
The first off-taker of the output is industrial company Wolfram Bergbau und Huetten AG, a subsidiary of Sandvik Group, which will procure 70 tonnes of the output to reduce the use of natural gas at its metallurgical plant in St. Martin im Sulmtal, Styria. The hydrogen production site is owned by local energy company Energie Steiermark. Its construction required investments totaling $11.5 million.
Building on the experience gained in the Gabersdorf pilot project, Energie Steiermark is planning to add a further 150 MW of hydrogen production capacity in cooperation with the local industry. At the same time, the company seeks to repurpose about 200 km of pipelines of the existing natural gas network for the integration of hydrogen.