Swedish mining company LKAB has selected ENERGIRON® technology, jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli, for its demonstration plant in northern Sweden.

The technology will be utilized for the ‘basic engineering’ of LKAB’s 100% hydrogen- based direct reduced iron (DRI) plant in Gällivare, Sweden. This, according to plant supplier Tenova, represents a further step in the application of the technology by the group, as ENERGIRON® has already been the key equipment to the full-hydrogen pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden, built by HYBRIT Development AB, a joint venture between LKAB, SSAB, and Vattenfall, and commissioned in 2020.

Results from the HYBRIT pilot plant revealed that the DRI obtained using pure hydrogen as a reducing agent instead of fossil-based reducing gas such as natural gas delivers superior properties and qualities. With a capacity of 1.35Mt/yr of fossil-free DRI, the Gällivare demonstration plant will combine the HYBRIT technology with ENERGIRON® technology. An electric process heater – which Tenova claims is a world first in an industrial DRI plant – will heat the process gas using green electric power. The new DRI plant will use fossil-free electric power from different sources to produce fossil- free sponge iron that will be used by SSAB to make fossil-free steel.

“We’re excited to continue our sustainability journey with LKAB in the making of the very first industrial DRI plant that, thanks to our innovative ENERGIRON® technology, will produce fossil-free steel using an electric process gas heater.''

Stefano Maggiolino, Tenova HYL president and CEO

Stefano Maggiolino, Tenova HYL president and CEO, said: “We’re excited to continue our sustainability journey with LKAB in the making of the very first industrial DRI plant that, thanks to our innovative ENERGIRON® technology, will produce fossil-free steel using an electric process gas heater. With our tireless push for innovation, hydrogen-based iron ore reduction at zero emissions has already become an industrial reality.”

The current contract is related to basic engineering services, while future equipment supply and construction are pending waiting for prerequisites like environmental permits and Final Investment Decision (FID).