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Vision of the green industry

HYBRIT - Toward fossil-free steel

In 2016, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall joined forces to create HYBRIT – a joint venture project that endeavors to revolutionize steel-making. HYBRIT aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steel making, with hydrogen. The result will be unique: the world’s first fossil-free steel-making technology, with virtually no carbon footprint. In spring 2018, a pilot plant for fossil-free steel production will be planned and designed in Luleå and the Norrbotten iron ore fields, 250 km north west of Luleå. The goal is to have a solution for fossil-free steel by 2035. A successful HYBRIT means that together we can 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 and an expanding urbanization are expected to trigger a rise in global steel demand by 2050. The carbon footprint in the steel industry is thus a challenge for both for Europe and the world.

This is why, in 2016, SSAB, LKAB (Europe’s largest iron ore producer) and Vattenfall (one of Europe’s largest electricity producers) joined forces to create HYBRIT, a joint-venture project that endeavors to revolutionize steel-making. HYBRIT aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steel making, with hydrogen. The result will be unique: The world’s first fossil-free steel-making technology, with virtually no carbon footprint. 

Sweden has unique conditions for this kind of project, with good access to fossil-free electricity, Europe’s highest-quality iron ore and a specialized, innovative steel industry. In spring 2018, HYBRIT also will start investigating the possibilities of broadening the project to include Finland.

A pre-feasibility study, conducted 2016-2017, gives the green light for the next phase of HYBRIT. This means that spring 2018 will be spent planning and designing the construction of a globally-unique pilot plant for fossil-free steel production in Luleå and in the Norrbotten iron ore fields, 250 km north west of Luleå. 

Planning and designing the pilot plant is estimated to cost SEK 20 million and it was recently confirmed that the Swedish Energy Agency will finance half of this, while the other half will be covered by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall. The Swedish Energy Agency has earlier contributed SEK 60 million to the pre-feasibility study and a four-year-long research project.

The pilot phase is planned to last until 2024, after which it will move to the demonstration phase in 2025-2035. The conclusion is that fossil-free steel, given today’s price of electricity, coal and CO2 emissions, would be 20-30% more expensive. With falling prices in electricity from fossil-free sources and increasing costs for CO2 emissions through the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS), the pre-feasibility study considers that fossil-free steel will, in future, be able to compete in the market with traditional steel.

Already before a solution for fossil-free steel making is in place, SSAB aims to cut its joint carbon dioxide emissions in Sweden by 25% by as early as 2025, through conversion of the blast furnace in Oxelösund, Sweden. Between 2030-2040, the aim is convert also the blast furnaces in Luleå, Sweden and Raahe, Finland to eliminate most of the remaining CO2 emissions and to attain the target of being fossil-free by 2045.

To be able to carry out this project, however, significant national contributions are still required from the state, research institutions and universities. There has to be good access to fossil-free electricity, improved infrastructure and rapid expansion of high voltage networks, research initiatives, faster permit processes and the government’s active support for the pilot and demonstration facilities and long term support at the EU level.

Read more on www.hybritdevelopment.com

Presentations

Latest News

1 Feb
SSAB gears up for fossil-free steel production
SSAB is gearing up to transition the business to fossil-free steel production, and today the company published a plan that involves a drastic cut in CO2 emissions even before a solution for fossil-free steel has been found. The goal is to be totally fossil-free by 2045. The transition in SSAB’s business is a consequence of the SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall initiative to find a solution for fossil-free steel production, HYBRIT. 
1 Feb
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall to build a globally-unique pilot plant for fossil-free steel
SSAB’s, LKAB’s and Vattenfall’s pre-feasibility study is giving the green light for the fossil-free steel initiative, HYBRIT. For the first time in 1,000 years, there is an opportunity for a technology shift and, as early as this spring, a globally-unique pilot plant for fossil-free steel is being planned for Northern Sweden. The planning and designing is expected to cost SEK 20 million and it recently became clear that the Swedish Energy Agency will finance parts of the project.The initiative could reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and those in Finland by 7%. The reduction in Sweden has been described as being crucial if Sweden is to be able to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
25 Oct
SSAB aims to be fossil-free by 2045
SSAB increases the company ambitions for sustainability and sets new long-term objectives. By 2045 SSAB aims to be totally fossil-free. However, in the mid-term, the most noticeable sustainability impacts will be achieved by our sustainable offering: 10 million tonnes in annual customer CO2 savings by 2025. 
13 Sep
HYBRIT: CEO recruited for fossil-free steel initiative
Mårten Görnerup has been appointed CEO of the newly established joint venture company HYBRIT Development AB. He joins HYBRIT from Metsol, a technical consultancy firm in the steel sector, where he was CEO. Mårten has a background in metallurgy research. 
28 Jun
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall form joint venture company for fossil-free steel
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall announced today that they have formed a joint venture company to continue to drive the HYBRIT initiative. The three companies will each own one third of the company, which will seek to develop a steelmaking process that emits water instead of carbon dioxide.
19 May
SSAB commits to sustainability onshore and offshore
SSAB has signed a joint statement together with the other members of the initiative Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development. We want to state clearly that we are responsible for interdependencies between land and sea in our core operations.
27 Feb
The Swedish Energy Agency Is Investing Heavily in a Carbon-Dioxide-Free Steel Industry
SSAB’s, LKAB’s and Vattenfall’s initiative for a carbon-dioxide-free steel industry has gained additional support from The Swedish Energy Agency. Today the agency passed a resolution to finance a 4-year long research project for SEK 99 million. At the same time, the three companies behind the initiative, SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall, have decided to form a corporate joint venture to spur on this initiative.