Metal Industry News

SSAB Plans for Fossil-Free Steel

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Swedish steelmaker SSAB plans to be the first company in the world to get fossil-free steel onto the market. The plan for transitioning to iron-ore based fossil-free steel production was presented to more than 400 customers and key players in the industry in Stockholm.   

“SSAB will offer the first fossil-free steel products on the market in 2026. We seek to initiate partnerships with our customers around common goals so that they can be the first in the world to include fossil-free steel in their own products,” said Martin Lindqvist, SSAB’s president and CEO.

In line with SSAB’s global ambitions, the company anticipates that its U.S. operations, which utilize scrap-based electric arc furnace technology, will be powered completely by renewable energy by 2022 in its Iowa operations. It will also be able to offer fossil-free steel products starting in 2026, utilizing sponge iron developed through the HYBRIT initiative in Sweden.

“It will take time for a completely new market for fossil-free products to emerge and so we need to start now. Together with our customers, we will work to find successful business models to launch fossil-free products on the market already in 2026,” said Lindqvist.

The steel industry accounts for around 7 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. In Sweden steelmaking accounts for 10 percent and in Finland for 7 percent. The technology to use hydrogen gas instead of coking coal to reduce iron ore is known, but has never been successfully tested on an industrial scale. HYBRIT is now building a pilot plant for sponge iron at SSAB’s site in Luleå. The plant will be up and running summer 2020.

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