Without use of fossil fuels, Sweden has delivered the world’s first shipment of steel delivered to the Volvo group. This is a major milestone on the road towards cutting carbon emissions from industry. Learn more about the world’s first fossil-free steel from Sweden.
The HYBRIT project is owned by SSAB, Vattenfall and LKAB, and it looks to revolutionize an industry where just 553 conventional steel plants worldwide account for about 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The HYBRIT projects was set up in 2016 and started test operations at its pilot plant for fossil-free steel in Lulea, northern Sweden, a year ago. It’s hoped that an industrial scale can be reached as early as 2026. The IEA forecasts that steel production globally will grow by a third through to 2050.
The whole country of Sweden produced just over 45 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2020, but across all its operations SSAB was responsible for almost 9 million. HYBRIT claims that by eliminating fossil fuels from the steelmaking process, it could reduce Sweden’s total CO2 emissions by “at least” 10%.
“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,” Martin Lindqvist, SSAB’s president and CEO, said.
Speaking at a press conference, the Swedish minister for business, industry and innovation Ibrahim Baylan said he was “happy to be minister for enterprise and energy in a country where industry is bubbling with energy for a [green] reset.”
According to the International Energy Agency, the iron and steel sector is responsible for 2.6 gigatons of direct carbon dioxide emissions each year. In 2019, this figure was greater than the direct emissions from sectors such as cement and chemicals.
Anna Borg, CEO of Vattenfall, which is also responsible for some of Europe’s largest wind farms, said HYBRIT “shows how partnerships and collaboration can contribute to reducing emissions and building competitiveness for industries.”
HYBRIT is not the only project looking to mitigate the effects of steel production. Another, H2 Green Steel, plans to build a steel production facility in the north of Sweden that will be powered by a “green” hydrogen plant. H2 Green Steel claims it will be up and running by 2024.
Volvo said in April it would start production this year of prototype vehicles and components from the green steel.
World’s First Fossil-Free Steel From Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg