Fossil-free fuel is on the way! In 2026, SSAB aims to launch its pioneering fossil-free premium grade steel – revolutionizing the industry by implementing a steelmaking process that does not create fossil-fuel CO2 emissions.
The steel industry is currently one of the highest CO2 emitters, accounting for 7% of all emissions globally. While SSAB is already one of the world’s most CO2 efficient steelmakers, we know that the industry still has a long way to go. Our objective is to lead the steel industry to a decarbonized future.
The first launch of fossil-free products will commence in 2026 and the order of product roll-out will be defined by the requests from our customers. It is SSAB’s ambition to have the full range of our steel grades available in fossil-free steel. Your sales contact will be able to advise more specifically about your business needs.
The quality and properties of fossil-free steel will be the same as SSABs steel of today. The properties of SSAB’s steel are created in the steelmaking, rolling and heat treatment processes, which will remain the same. The only difference in the process is that the energy used will be exclusively fossil-free electricity and other fossil-free fuels.
The first step in making steel is to turn iron ore into iron by removing the oxygen. This has traditionally been done using coal and coke in the blast furnace process. However, this step will now be done using hydrogen gas through the HYBRIT process. Fossil-free electricity will be used to produce hydrogen from water via electrolysis. The byproduct of this process is water, not CO2. The end result of the HYBRIT process is solid iron (sponge iron) which is then melted in an electric arc furnace. Across the entire process, only fossil-free electricity and fuels will be used – resulting in fossil-free steel as an end product.
Fossil-free steel is a premium product with a higher price than regular fossil-based steel products. The main cost-drivers for fossil-free steel are the investments in production and infrastructure, to switch from coal to fossil-free electricity and hydrogen, from natural gas to biogas, and from iron ore pellets to HYBRIT sponge iron.
The primary advantage of fossil-free steel is that it is a material that has created zero CO2 emissions from fossil-fuels. The production of fossil-free steel leaves fossil fuels in the ground; this means that you and your end-users become part of a fossil-free value-chain. The only disadvantage of fossil-free steel is that start-up production costs are higher, making it more expensive to produce and so it has a higher cost price.
Green steel does not have an officially recognized definition. The term ‘green steel’ is an unofficial label used when a product has not met pre-approved or defined criteria.
SSAB is currently the only steel producer that has committed to and is investing in fossil-free production. By using HYBRIT fossil-free steel technology and eliminating the carbon footprint from the steel production process, SSAB will leave fossil fuels in the ground.
In many markets around the world, the recycling rate of steel is above 90%. However, the increasing use of steel means that the available scrap is only able to cover 25% of the global steel demand. In short, the demand for steel exceeds the scrap currently available.
The production cost of fossil-free steel is higher than regular steel, which means it has a higher price. For specific prices, please speak with your SSAB sales contact.
An investment in fossil-free steel adds value to your business by eliminating the carbon footprint in the steel part of your value chain. Your sales contact can give you more information.
Traditional steel will be available in parallel to fossil-free steel during the proposed transition period. The transition period for a specific product will be driven by customer demand.
Yes, all of the iron ore used in SSAB’s fossil-free steel will come from fossil-free mining.
Yes. That is our goal.
SSAB is on target to deliver the first commercial products in 2026.
As the innovators of fossil-free steel, SSAB is confident that all steel producers will, in time, replace their fossil-fuel based processes with fossil-free technology.