Who cares about how much hydrogen costs? Part 3: Chemicals, mining, heavy industry

4 Min Read

Altroleum publishes daily production cost assessments for hydrogen for both Europe and North America, available now. But who should really care about how much hydrogen costs?

Broadly, these stakeholders can be classified into several buckets:

This is the third in a series of articles profiling these stakeholders.

Ancillary Industries

The are several industries that will be affected by the emergence of hydrogen as a sector, even if they do not seek to produce it; this article will highlight specialty chemicals manufacturers, mining companies, and heavy industry, such as steel or cement production. This represents the tip of the iceberg of industrial sector affected by the emergence of hydrogen, including, maritime, aerospace, automotive, commodity chemicals and others.

Specialty Chemicals

The emergence of hydrogen as a sector is a key growth driver for specialty chemicals companies that produce materials used in hydrogen production.

Platinum is used in fuel cell production and electrolyser production, both of which are high growth markets necessary to support the emergence of a hydrogen sector. The emergence of a hydrogen sector will offset declining demand for platinum-based catalysts in the automotive sector, where they are used in catalytic converters.

A platinum nugget

Similarly, nickel catalysts are used in steam methane reformation to produce grey and blue hydrogen, and will likely see an uptick in demand as overall demand for hydrogen increases.


Hydrogen has a major role in decarbonising mining operations, and thereby limiting the deleterious environmental effects of large scale mining operations.

Mining is a highly energy intensive industry. Mines are often remote from population centres and other places with easy access to clean energy.

Green hydrogen production and storage means that mines can operate cleanly. Hydrogen, due to its low weight and energy density, is far cheaper to transport between mines than batteries to power green operations. There are several mines worldwide experimenting with on-site micro-generation of hydrogen.

Quebec's Raglan mine runs on a micro-grid with a hydrogen energy storage unit

The emergence of hydrogen is also an important growth driver for platinum miners, given the increasing demand from manufacturers of electrolysers and fuel cells.

Heavy industries, e.g. steel and cement

Certain industries, including steel making and cement manufacture, require very high temperatures to run their operations and deliver product. Traditionally, these industries use LNG fired furnaces, but it has been demonstrated that sufficiently high temperatures can be generated using hydrogen.

The world's first fossil free heated steel bar in Sweden

With the appropriate investments in technology and proper regulatory pressures, it will be possible to completely decarbonise these industries. Of course, the cost of hydrogen production is very important here, since energy costs accrued during production represent on of the greatest cost drivers in these industries.


Businesses in ancillary industries to the hydrogen sector care about how much hydrogen costs to produce because they seek to develop competitive business lines supporting the emerging hydrogen sector that will return value to shareholders and other stakeholders.

Visibility on hydrogen production costs, segmented by geographies and production technologies, helps businesses invest in class-leading business lines.

These data can be used to support many workflows in related to business lines affected by the emergence of the hydrogen sector, from high level strategic decision making at C-suite level through to modelling and validation work undertaken by analysts for individual projects.

Altroleum provides daily hydrogen production cost assessments with the highest temporal and spatial granularity on the market. Altroleum covers all of the well-established production technologies (SMR, SMR w/ CCS, AEM, PEM) and covers geographies across Europe and North America.

A hydrogen price assessment in the Altroleum platform

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