HYBRIT - Toward fossil-free steel production

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have launched an initiative to solve the carbon dioxide problem in the Swedish steel industry. Together, they have initiated work to develop a steel production process that emits water rather than carbon dioxide.

Illustration: SSAB.

Toward fossil-free steel production 2045

SSAB’s existing production system is already one of the world’s most efficient in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Nevertheless, existing steelmaking technology using coke plants and blast furnaces means SSAB is Sweden’s largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions.

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall together are prepared to assume major responsibility to find a long-term solution to the carbon dioxide problem in the steel industry. Consequently, the companies have launched a joint industrial development project to create steel production that emits water instead of carbon dioxide. In June of 2017, the companies created a Joint Venture company for fossil-free steel, HYBRIT Development.

With its specialized, innovative steel industry, access to fossil-free electricity and the highest-quality iron ore in Europe, Sweden is uniquely placed for such a project.

The aim is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from ironmaking to zero by eliminating the need to use fossil fuel for iron ore reduction. The idea is to replace the blast furnaces with an alternative process, using hydrogen produced from “clean” electricity. This means that the by-product from ironmaking would be water not carbon dioxide.

A pre-feasibility study, conducted 2016-2017, gives the green light for the next phase of HYBRIT. This means that spring 2018 will be spent planning and designing the construction of a globally-unique pilot plant for fossil-free steel production in Luleå and in the Norrbotten iron ore fields, 250 km north west of Luleå. 

Jan Moström, Martin Linqvist, Margnus Hall

Jan Moström, President and Group CEO at LKAB, Martin Lindqvist, CEO and President of SSAB and Magnus Hall, CEO and President of Vattenfall.

Futrher information:

HYBRIT - Toward fossil-free steel (ssab.com)