Swedish steelmaker SSAB has manufactured the first fossil-free steel in the world and delivered it to a customer. According to the company, the test delivery is an important step towards a fully fossil-free iron and steel production value chain and a milestone for the HYBRIT partnership between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall.

SSAB Oxelösund rolled the first steel produced using HYBRIT technology in July and it is now being delivered to the first customer, the Volvo Group.

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall created HYBRIT - Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology - in 2016, with the aim of developing a technology for fossil-free iron- and steelmaking. In June this year, the three companies were able to showcase the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron, produced at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå. This first sponge iron has since been used to produce the first steel made using this breakthrough technology.

“It’s very pleasing that the HYBRIT partnership is once more taking an important step forward and that SSAB can now produce the first fossil-free steel and deliver to the customer. This shows how partnerships and collaboration can contribute to reducing emissions and building competitiveness for industries. Electrification is contributing to making fossil-free living possible within one generation.”

Anna Borg, President and CEO of Vattenfall

The goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026. Using HYBRIT technology, SSAB claims that it has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 10% and Finland’s by approximately 7%.

Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Baylan, said: “Industry and especially the steel industry create large emissions, but are also an important part of the solution. To drive the transition and become the world's first fossil-free welfare state, collaboration between business, universities and the public sector is crucial. The work done by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall within the framework of HYBRIT drives the development of the entire industry and is an international model.”

“We hope that this will inspire others to also want to speed up the green transition.”

Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO of SSAB

Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO of SSAB, described the first fossil-free steel in the world as proof that it is possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry. “We hope that this will inspire others to also want to speed up the green transition,” he said.

Jan LKAB’s president and CEO Jan Moström, said it was a crucial milestone and an important step towards creating a completely fossil-free value chain from mine to finished steel. “We’ve now shown together that it’s possible, and the journey continues. By industrializing this technology in the future and making the transition to the production of sponge iron on an industrial scale, we will enable the steel industry to make the transition. This is the greatest thing we can do together for the climate,” he said.