SWEDISH ZERO EMISSIONS STEEL
RENEW ECONOMY - 1 September 2020 - The global production of zero emissions steel has taken a massive step forward, with a world leading Swedish project completing the construction of a world-first fossil-free steel pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden.
Three Swedish firms came together to form an innovative partnership around the HYBRIT project, which has integrated the supply of raw material, steel processing and energy supplies into a single project, that could be the gateway to the decarbonisation of the currently coal dependent steel industry.
The partnership, which includes LKAB, SSAB and Vattenfall established the HYBRIT project, with the aim of producing emissions free steel and cutting Sweden’s greenhouse gas emission by as much as 10 per cent in the process.
SSAB is one of the world’s largest steel manufacturers and has partnered with iron ore producer LKAB, and electricity company Vattenfall, to undertake the HYBRIT project as a validation of the green steel manufacturing process.
“I’m incredibly proud that our globally unique pilot plant has now been completed. It is a milestone in the transition to fossil-free steel. We aim to be the first to market, in as early as 2026, with fossil-free steel,” President and CEO of SSAB Martin Lindqvist said.
“HYBRIT technology will enable us to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in steelmaking and at the same time help our own customers to reduce their climate footprint. We have the chance to revolutionize the entire steel industry and show that net-zero emissions is possible. We must seize this chance.”
The project has set itself the goal of bringing zero emissions steel to market by 2026, and considers that it could be possible to transition to a completely emissions-free steel manufacturing sector in Sweden within the next 20-years, and has the support of the Swedish government to make that happen.
“Right now we have a historic opportunity to do things that provide jobs here and now – but also hasten the climate transition that everyone realises is necessary,” Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven said.
“Today, you are laying the foundations that will enable the Swedish steel industry to be entirely fossil- and carbon dioxide- free in 20 years. Together we can rebuild Sweden as the world’s first fossil-free welfare nation.”
Swedish climate change minister and deputy prime minister, Isabella Lövin said that the project should hopefully lead to a transformation across the global steel manufacturing industry.
“This inauguration concretizes that the industrial transition is taking place as we speak, and that a fossil-free society is within reach. This unique project has generated a lot of international attention for Sweden. Through the Leadership Group for Industry Transition, which the UN has asked Sweden to lead, this has the opportunity to reverberate around the world,” Lövin said.