Timeline for HYBRIT and fossil-free steel

All SSAB production sites will be converted

SSAB aims to create a fossil-free value chain together with our partners and customers and secure our position as the driving force in the green transition of the steel industry. Already in 2021, we delivered the first fossil-free steel, a steel made from hydrogen-reduced iron produced at HYBRIT´s pilot plant in Luleå Sweden, to our customer Volvo Group. In 2026, we plan to bring fossil-free steel to market as a commercial product.

Phases

2016 - 2017

Pre-feasibility study


2016
  • Pre-feasibility study with support from Swedish Energy Agency
  • 4-year R&D project with support from Swedish Energy

2017
A joint venture company between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall
2018 - 2024

Feasibility study pilot plant trials


Feb 2018
Decision for pilot phase

2019 - 2021
Fossil-free pellets trial

2020-2024
Hydrogen-based reduction and smelting trials

2021/22 - 2024
Hydrogen storage
2025 - 2030

Commercial volume plant trials and transformation


2025
  • Transformation - BF* to EAF** at SSAB Oxelösund
  • HYBRIT demo plant

2026
SSAB fossil-free steel on market

Around 2030
Transformation - BFs to minimills with EAFs at SSAB Raahe and SSAB Luleå 

* BF = Blast furnace. **EAF = Electric arc furnace

Timeline for fossil-free steel production

The first step toward fossil-free steel starts with the direct reduction pilot plant at the SSAB site in Luleå, Sweden. The plant is the first of its kind and started up in 2020. In the pilot plant, the development of the process of reducing iron ore using fossil-free hydrogen will continue. Adjoining pilot plant, an underground hydrogen storage pilot facility is operational from 2022. During 2020, the world’s first fossil-free iron ore pellets were produced at the LKAB site in Malmberget.

In addition to the development of the pilot plant, we are preparing a demonstration plant in Gällivare, next to the LKAB iron ore mine. The plan is to complete the demonstration plant in 2025, at the same time as SSAB’s blast furnace in Oxelösund, Sweden, is converted to an electric arc furnace. This will enable us to produce iron ore-based, fossil-free steel on commercial terms in 2026. In the end of 2021, the HYBRIT was granted support from the EU Innovation Fund, as one out of seven European projects using breakthrough technologies within, for example, energyintensive industries.

New policy decision

In January 2022, SSAB’s Board took a policy decision to fundamentally transform Nordic strip production and accelerate the company’s green transition. The decision was taken against the background of strongly growing demand for fossil-free steel. The plan is to replace the existing system with new mini-mill technology, which will result in a broader product program and improved cost position. The ambition is to largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in our own operations around 2030, 15 years earlier than previously announced. However, to achieve this ambition, the necessary infrastructure, access to fossil-free electricity in particular, must be in place in time.

The decision means that the sites in Luleå and Raahe will be transformed into cost-effective mini-mills, with electric arc furnaces and rolling mills. The sites in Borlänge and Hämeenlinna will be further developed in line with the new production processes. The transformation will take place during the next ten years, considerably faster than the earlier objective of 2045. The first step will be to develop a more detailed transformation plan for each production site. The order of site transformation will depend, among other things, on the availability of the necessary infrastructure, in particular access to competitive electricity. The plan means all SSAB’s emissions in our own operations will be largely eliminated at the beginning of the next decade.

Nov 7 2022

SSAB attends COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

SSAB is taking part in meetings and seminars in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, which this year is hosted by Egypt. SSAB will, as part of Business Sweden’s delegation, raise the need for enabling regulatory frameworks and a level playing field as well as highlight the importance of partnerships and cross-sector co-operation to reach Paris Agreement targets.

Oct 12 2022

HYBRIT: New research shows hydrogen-reduced iron has superior properties

New research within the HYBRIT project, driven by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, shows superior results on the properties and quality of the hydrogen direct reduced sponge iron (H-DRI) made using HYBRIT technology. Test results prove that the direct reduction of iron ore using hydrogen offers a superior product that is easy to handle, transport and store. It also virtually eliminates CO\2\ emissions in the reduction process.

Oct 11 2022

SSAB and POSCO organize a global conference for a greener future

Together for a Green Future! is the slogan for the Hydrogen Iron&Steel Making Forum 2022 in Stockholm this October. It will be hosted by SSAB and South Korean POSCO Group. The focus of the event is to provide a forum where steelmakers can promote collaboration and share advice, ideas and expertise to tackle the global climate change.