The pilot plant is being built in the north of the country and will produce steel from hydrogen produced from renewable energy. The only emissions will be water vapor.
In Luleå, work has started on the construction of Hybrit, the experimental hydrogen steelworks.

In Sweden, the steel industry is testing the use of hydrogen for the first time. The pioneer is Hybrit, a project launched two years ago by the joint venture between LKAB, SSAB and Vattenfall with the aim of creating a value chain without fossil fuels in the sector. The initiative has passed the test phases and developed the feasibility plan, and is now preparing to build the first pilot plant in the town of Luleå, 250 km from the Norrbotten mining fields.

The steel industry is one of the sectors with high CO2 emissions (7% of the carbon released in the world) – explains SSAB – Population growth and expanding urbanization are expected to increase global demand for steel by 2050. The carbon footprint in the steel sector is therefore a challenge for Europe and the world. “

Hybrit’s goal is to create the world’s first hydrogen-powered steel plant, replacing ore smelting blast furnaces with a zero CO2 emission system. “Today, coal is used extensively to reduce iron ore, which is shipped to Sweden from places like Australia. The idea behind HYBRIT is to use hydrogen produced with electricity from renewable sources as an alternative. The emissions would then be water vapor“Explains the company.

Plans are to work with this pilot structure for several years, until 2024. The plant is expected to have an iron reduction capacity of between 1 and 2 tonnes per hour and will be used primarily as an experimental tool. From 2025, the three partners are committed to building a test steel plant that will operate as a real steel plant, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and with a capacity of half a million tonnes per year. .

But the project aims to go beyond the simple production phase: “Fossil fuel-free steelmaking begins at the mine and we are currently working intensively on how to design the next generation of pellet plants and build a future ‘electrified and automated mine.», Adds Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB.

Hybrit – which has secured funding from the Swedish government – currently has production costs between 20-30% higher than traditional methods. But the designers are convinced that the cost difference will “narrow” as carbon prices rise and green electricity prices fall.

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