First fossil-free steel delivered
By Niamh Marriott07 September 2021
Sweden-based SSAB produced the world’s first fossil-free steel and delivered it to its customer, the Volvo Group.
The company described the trial delivery as an important step on the way to a completely fossil-free value chain for iron and steel making and a milestone in the HYBRIT (hydrogen breakthrough ironmaking technology) partnership between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall.
In July, SSAB Oxelösund rolled the first steel produced using HYBRIT technology, produced using 100 per cent fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke, at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden.
“The first fossil-free steel in the world is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, but it also represents proof that it’s possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry. We hope that this will inspire others and speed up the green transition,” said Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO at SSAB.
“Industry, and especially the steel industry, create large emissions. To drive the transition and become the world’s first fossil-free welfare state, collaboration between business, universities and the public sector is crucial.”
The goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026. Using HYBRIT technology, SSAB said it has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by approximately ten per cent and Finland’s by approximately seven per cent.
Ibrahim Baylan, Minister of Trade and Industry for Sweden, said, “The work of HYBRIT drives the development of the entire industry and is an international model.”
Jan Moström, president and CEO at LKAB, said, “It’s a crucial milestone and an important step towards creating a completely fossil-free value chain from mine to finished steel. We’ve now shown together that it’s possible.”
Electric arc furnace
“We’ll be converting to electric arc furnace in Oxelösund as early as 2025. This is the first production site within SSAB to make the transition, and it means that we’ll already be cutting large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions,” said Johnny Sjöström, head of SSAB Special Steels Division.
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall created the HYBRIT in 2016, with the aim of developing a technology for fossil-free iron and steel making. In June 2021 the three companies showed the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron produced at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå.