Fossil-free sponge iron plant to be built in Gällivare
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall are now taking a new, decisive leap forward in their work to make fossil-free steel for the global market. Industrialization of the technology being developed through HYBRIT will start in Gällivare in northern Sweden, where the world’s first production plant for fossil free sponge iron from feedstock to steel is being planned.
Industrialization is intended to start with the first demonstration plant, which will be ready in 2026, for the production of 1.3 million tonnes of fossil-free sponge iron in Gällivare. The demonstration plant will be integrated with iron pellet making and is part of LKAB’s transition plan.
The goal is to expand sponge iron production to a full industrial scale of 2.7 million tonnes by 2030 to be able to supply SSAB, among others, with feedstock for fossil-free steel.
The choice of Gällivare for establishing of the plant was based on a joint assessment of industrial synergies, where proximity to iron ore, logistics, an electricity supply and energy optimization were important factors.
There are many advantages to locating the new sponge iron plant in Gällivare, which is also in close proximity to LKAB’s mining production and processing. Using iron ore pellets that are already warm in the process will save huge amounts of energy.
On top of this, 30% of weight will be eliminated from transport since hydrogen gas will be used to remove the oxygen in the iron ore. Gällivare also offers good access to fossil-free electricity from Vattenfall.
At the same time, SSAB and LKAB will deepen their partnership to create the most effective fossil-free steel value chain from mine to steel, to customer. We will support and enable each other’s transformation, with Vattenfall an enabler of the huge need for electricity and hydrogen gas.
On the back of an acceleration of HYBRIT together with LKAB’s strategy and deeper partnership, SSAB will now explore the prerequisites to convert to fossil-free steel production in Luleå faster than planned. The plan to convert Oxelösund in 2025 remains unchanged, as does our goal to be the first to market, in 2026, with fossil-free steel.
Hybrit Development AB, which is owned by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, is developing the technology to make steel using hydrogen gas instead of coal, which will minimize climate harmful carbon dioxide emissions from production.