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Thumbs up to this innovation, Source: HYBRIT

Luleå plant produced and delivered first fossil-free steel in the world

Luleå plant produced and delivered first fossil-free steel in the world

It will, however, become fully available on the market in 2026

Sweden strives to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and become one of the world’s first fossil-free nations. Steel production accounts for large emissions in the production process contributing 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and about 10% in Sweden.

Part of the solution was the creation of the HYBRIT initiative, with the opening of the first plant equipped to produce fossil-free steel in the northern city of Luleå last year. Although it was then reported that production output will be available on the market in 2026, news came last week that the first fossil-free had already been delivered to a Volvo manufacturing plant.

Trial run in truck manufacturing with the new material

How do they make fossil-free steel, though? Reportedly, it is produced without using coal, replacing that primary energy source with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen in order to cut emissions. As with all innovations, however, there is a hitch for the time being. The fossil-free steel will be roughly 20-30% more expensive than steel made with fossil fuels, but the price is expected to fall to competitive levels eventually thanks to external factors, such as environmental regulations.

The steel delivery was made to truck maker Volvo as a trial run before HYBRIT starts with full commercial production. About 24 tonnes of steel was delivered to Volvo, which will be used for prototype vehicles during this year.

It is a crucial milestone and an important step towards the creation of a completely fossil-free value chain from mine to finished steel. We have now shown that it is possible, and the journey continues,” explained Jan Moström, CEO of LKAB, the government-owned mining company.

He continued: “By industrializing the technology in the future and switching to the production of iron sponge on an industrial scale, we enable the steel industry to adapt. This is the biggest thing we can do together for the climate”.

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