Vattenfall, partners form fossil-free steel JV in Sweden
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Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall AB and its two partners in the metals and mining industries have set up a joint venture as part of their objective to produce fossil-free steel.
Last spring, Vattenfall teamed up with steel products maker SSAB AB (STO:SSAB-B) and state-owned mining company LKAB under the so-called HYBRIT initiative aimed at developing a steelmaking process that emits water rather than carbon dioxide (CO2). They plan to achieve that by replacing today's blast furnace process that uses coal and coke with a process based on hydrogen gas.
Now, the three companies have created a JV company and have initiated a recruitment process to appoint a CEO. Each of the partners will get a one-third stake in the new firm.
"By taking this step, we are making clear our activities and determination to find solutions to the climate issue. Vattenfall can see that electrification of the industry and climate-smart hydrogen gas have an important role to play," said Magnus Hall, president and CEO of Vattenfall.
The energy group believes that Sweden is the right place to undertake the initiative due to its specialised steel sector and access to renewable power, it noted, but stressed that significant national contributions are still needed in order to achieve the set goals.
A preliminary study will be completed by the end of the year and will be followed by research and pilot plant trials up to 2024. Then, trials at a full-scale demonstration facility will be conducted through 2035.