Stockholm-based H2 Green Steel is in talks with the Canadian government to build a factory in northern Quebec, in another step towards its ambition to produce low-carbon steel.
The company has already started construction of its first plant in Boden, Sweden, with a goal to begin production by late 2025. Supply agreements have been signed with automakers including Mercedes-Benz Group AG.
“We bring with us a portfolio of customers who want to have supply in North America.”Henrik Henriksson, H2 Green Steel chief executive officer
“We bring with us a portfolio of customers who want to have supply in North America,” H2 Green Steel chief executive officer Henrik Henriksson said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
The potential Quebec green steel project would be located on a 500-acre site in the city of Sept-Iles, northeast of Montreal, and require an investment worth between €3 billion and €6 billion. A prospective plan would see the company build a ‘green iron’ plant and a giant electrolyzer powered by renewable energy that would supply the site with hydrogen, replacing the use of coal. The iron would then be exported.
Another approach would include a full steel mill requiring up to 2,000 workers, similar to the Boden site.
“It will depend on the dialogue we have with authorities in Canada regarding power allocation,” stated Henriksson. The firm is currently looking for as much as 700 megawatts of electricity — about 1.5% of Quebec’s actual capacity.
Company executives have also referred to the geographical benefit of Canadian-based production, specifically its access to the St. Lawrence River for shipments and the region’s iron ore reserves.
“Fairly early, we could see that Quebec has this perfect place with a combination of logistics ready and a certain quality of iron ore.”Kajsa Ryttberg-Wallgren, H2 Green Steel executive vice-president
“Fairly early, we could see that Quebec has this perfect place with a combination of logistics ready and a certain quality of iron ore,” said Kajsa Ryttberg-Wallgren, an H2 Green Steel executive vice-president. However, Ryttberg-Wallgren emphasised the key issue the project faces; “No green power, no project.”
Aside from Quebec, H2 Green Steel is also doing a feasibility study on Texas, betting on rapid wind and solar development. “Canada is definitely ahead, but Texas has a very progressive view on creating business,” said Ryttberg-Wallgren. “They are not many places in the world where you actually have optimal conditions.”
Sites in Brazil and Portugal are also in the firm’s future pipeline with its partners Vale SA and Iberdrola SA.