Swedes make green breakthrough - company becomes first to produce steel without coal


Swedish green steel venture HYBRIT has announced that it had made the world’s first customer delivery of steel produced without using coal as it looks to revolutionise an industry that accounts for around 8pc of global greenhouse gas emissions.

HYBRIT, which is owned by SSAB, state-owned utility Vattenfall and miner LKAB, said it would deliver the steel to truck-maker Volvo as a trial run before full commercial production gets underway in 2026.

“I’m happy to be minister for enterprise and energy in a country where industry is bubbling with energy for a green reset,” Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s minister for business, industry and innovation, told a press conference last week.

HYBRIT started test operations at its pilot plant for fossil-free steel in Lulea, northern Sweden, a year ago. It aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steel making, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. Hydrogen is a key part of the EU’s plan to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

SSAB, which accounts for 10pc of Sweden’s and 7pc of Finland’s carbon dioxide emissions, said the trial delivery was an “important step towards a completely fossil-free value chain”.

“The goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026,” it said in a statement.

Another green steel venture, H2 Green Steel, is planning to build a fossil fuel-free steel plant in the north of Sweden, including a sustainable hydrogen facility, with production starting in 2024.

Volvo will, this year, start making prototype vehicles and components from the steel.

Source – The Irish Independent