SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall to establish world’s first fossil-free sponge iron plant 

Thursday, 25 March 2021 12:10:50 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Swedish specialty steel producer SSAB, together with Swedish iron ore producer LKAB and Swedish power company Vattenfall will begin industrialization of future fossil-free steelmaking by establishing the world’s first production plant for fossil-free sponge iron in Gällivare, northern Sweden, as part of their fossil-free steel joint venture (JV) HYBRIT, SSAB has announced.

Industrialization is intended to start with the first demonstration plant, which will be ready in 2026, for the annual production of 1.3 million mt of fossil-free sponge iron. The demonstration plant will be integrated with iron pellet making and is part of LKAB’s transition plan. The goal is to expand sponge iron production to 2.7 million mt by 2030 to be able to supply SSAB, among others, with feedstock for fossil-free steel.

Gällivare is in close proximity to LKAB’s mining production and processing. Using iron ore pellets that are already warm in the process will save huge amounts of energy. The location also offers good access to fossil-free electricity from Vattenfall.

“On the back of an acceleration of HYBRIT together with LKAB’s strategy and deeper partnership, SSAB will now explore the prerequisites to convert to fossil-free steel production in Luleå faster than planned. The plan to convert Oxelösund in 2025 remains unchanged, as does our goal to be the first to market, in 2026, with fossil-free steel,” SSAB stated.

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