SSAB is taking the lead in decarbonizing the steel industry, which today generates 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions.HYBRIT is a new revolutionary steelmaking technology. With HYBRIT technology, SSAB aims to be the first steel company in the world to bring fossil-free steel to the market already in 2026. SSAB will be practically fossil free by 2045.
Together with our partners and customers, SSAB aims to create a fossil-free value chain, from the mine to the end-product.
In 2016, SSAB, LKAB (Europe’s largest iron ore producer) and Vattenfall (one of Europe’s largest energy companies) joined forces to create HYBRIT – an initiative that endeavors to revolutionize steelmaking. Using HYBRIT technology, SSAB aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result will be the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint.
Our goal is to reduce Sweden’s CO2 emissions by 10% and Finland’s by 7%.
The steel industry is one of the highest CO2-emitting industries, accounting for 7% of CO2 emissions globally. A growing global population, an increasingly higher standard of living and greater urbanization will trigger a rise in global steel demand. Recycled scrap will not sufficiently meet the growing demand for new steel. The carbon footprint in the steel industry is thus a challenge for Europe and the rest of the world.
SSAB is already one of the world’s most CO2-efficient steel companies. However, we want to do more. Sweden has unique conditions for this kind of project, with good access to fossil-free electricity, the highest-quality iron ore and a specialized, innovative steel industry. SSAB has also started to investigate the possibilities of broadening the initiative to include Finland.
The HYBRIT initiative will contribute to reaching the global climate goals under the Paris Agreement and the national climate goals in Sweden and Finland.
Our goal is to reduce Sweden’s CO2 emissions by 10% and Finland’s by 7%. We believe that by taking the lead and showing that it is possible to decarbonize the steel industry, others will follow. The potential is enormous.
SSAB will cut its CO2 emissions in Sweden by 25% by as early as 2025, through the conversion of the blast furnaces in Oxelösund, Sweden, to an electric arc furnace. Between 2030-2040, the plan is to convert the blast furnaces in Luleå, Sweden and Raahe, Finland to eliminate most of the remaining CO2 emissions.
The company anticipates that our Iowa operations will be powered by renewable energy by 2022. Our Americas operations will also be able to offer fossil-free steel products starting in 2026, utilizing the sponge iron developed using HYBRIT technology and produced in Sweden. At the same time, SSAB has started the process of phasing out fossil fuels used in rolling mills and heat treatment plants throughout the company, to reach the goal of becoming fossil-free by 2045.
Conversion to fossil-free steel is driven by customer demand, where end-users are increasingly seeking sustainable materials. As vehicles and other machinery are reducing or eliminating their emissions in use, the materials used in these products will have the main impact on lifecycle CO2 emissions.
This means that the development of fossil-free steels is creating business opportunities and competitive advantages for both SSAB and its customers.
We believe that fossil-free steel is a sought after premium product for several customer segments. Factors like the price of electricity, coking coal and carbon dioxide emissions are crucial for the possibility of making fossil-free steel commercially viable in the long term. We are convinced that fossil-free steel will be able to compete with traditional steel in the future.
Although we are talking about fossil-free steel, the major change in the process is actually replacing the traditional iron-making process. The downstream conversion of iron into steel will use the same advanced SSAB technology as today, which means that the product properties will not be affected/will remain unchanged.
Watch the video to learn more about the HYBRIT project – from a shovel in the ground to a pilot plant.
“We want to take this technology to a commercial scale, so we can be the first steel company to put fossil-free steel on the market.” Watch Martin Pei, SSAB’s CTO and originator of the initiative, to talk about the HYBRIT project.
In order to carry out the HYBRIT initiative, significant contributions are needed from social entities including government, research institutions and universities. The project's success will be impacted by access to fossil-free electricity, improved infrastructure and rapid expansion of high voltage networks, faster permit processes and the government’s active support for the pilot and demonstration facilities and long-term support at EU level.
Are you curious about HYBRIT and want to know more?
HYBRIT Development is a joint venture company of SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall. The three companies each own one third of the company, which is seeking to develop a steelmaking process that emits water instead of CO2.
LKAB is an international and high-tech mining and minerals group that mines and upgrades the unique iron ore of northern Sweden for the global steel market. Sustainability is core to our business and our ambition is to be one of the industry’s most innovative, resource-efficient and responsible companies.
Vattenfall is a leading European energy company, which for more than 100 years has electrified industries, supplied energy to people’s homes and modernised our way of living through innovation and cooperation. We now want to make fossil-free living possible within one generation.
The Swedish Energy Agency has decided to contribute SEK 22 million in support to HYBRIT - SSAB’s, LKAB’s and Vattenfall’s joint initiative for fossil-free steel – for a comprehensive feasibility study. The study is part of the work on the planned demonstration plant, which is an important link in the development of an overall fossil-free steel value chain.
SSAB, using HYBRIT technology, which endeavors to revolutionize steelmaking, aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. SSAB has now also joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance.
Today, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall are taking a decisive step toward fossil-free steelmaking with the start-up of HYBRIT’s globally unique pilot plant for the production of fossil-free sponge iron. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven started up the plant together with Isabella Lövin, Minister for Environment and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister, Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO of SSAB, Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB and Magnus Hall, President and CEO of Vattenfall. SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall aim to create a complete value chain for fossil-free steel.