Swedish steelmaker SSAB has delivered a consignment of the world’s first fossil-free steel – using 100% fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke.
A trial delivery to Volvo Group is seen as a key milestone in a wholly fossil-free value chain for iron and steelmaking and the pioneering partnership between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall. In 2016, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall created their Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (Hybrit) and in June that year produced hydrogen-reduced sponge iron which has since been used to produce steel.
‘The first fossil-free steel in the world is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, it represents proof that it’s possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry,’ says Martin Lindqvist, president and ceo of SSAB. ‘We hope that this will inspire others to also want to speed up the green transition.’
Swedish industry minister Ibrahim Baylan adds: ‘The work done by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall within the framework of Hybrit drives the development of the entire industry and is an international model’.
The goal of the partnership is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026. Using this technology, SSAB believes it has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 10% and Finland’s by approximately 7%.
‘We’ll be converting to electric arc furnace in Oxelösund as early as 2025,’ says Johnny Sjöström, head of SSAB special steels division. ‘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 then. This is a major responsibility, one that we’re proud to shoulder, and it brings great opportunities to the region.’
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