H2Greensteel aiming to build a large-scale fossil-free steel plant. Applying experience and learnings from their Northvolt journey and Foundry Model, they aim to have production up and running as early as 2024.
Before 2030, the plan is to achieve a production capacity of five million tons of high-quality steel. This will be a significant complement to existing Swedish steel production and will increase Sweden’s net export value by an estimated SEK 30 billion. The climate crisis and more stringent requirements facing the industry are rapidly increasing demand, making this investment both popular and necessary.
Existing steel production technology leaves the steel industry as Sweden’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide. At the European level, the steel industry accounts for six percent of carbon dioxide emissions, and globally the figure is seven to nine percent.
The basic principles and technology of today’s steel production are essentially the same as they have been for more than a hundred years. Production has typically been located near coal mines as coking coal is used in the conversion of iron ore to iron and steel. Research and development projects, (such as HYBRIT), technological advances in hydrogen and a more intelligent process-based approach based on AI mean that the conditions are now in place for large-scale production of fossil-free and cost-effective steel.
Traditional steel production is based on the supply of coke and coal. In our process, the traditional blast furnace-based technology is replaced by direct reduction reactors. The direct reduction reactors have been up and running for more than 50 years in places where natural gas can be procured cheaply. In a natural gas feed reactor, the iron ore reduction takes place with both carbon monoxide to produce sponge iron and carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce sponge iron and water. We will replace the natural gas with green hydrogen to only allow for sponge iron and water to be produced. In addition, we electrify every process step of the entire production flow. In this way, virtually the only emissions are steam and we reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 95 percent from the outset, with the aim of reducing emissions to zero.
The plant will be fully integrated, with hot charging at each step along with the production flow. This technology will limit the amount of energy used, storage, and material handling. The plant will also maximize circularity. Recycled scrap from our customers will be charged into the electrical arc furnace, waste heat will be sent to the district heating channels of Luleå-Boden, and slag will be processed into products to be used in other industries.
Production will be located in Norrbotten because northern Sweden offers unique opportunities for fossil-free steel production, with good access to fossil-free electricity, the best quality iron ore in Europe, and specialized and innovative steel industry. Fossil-free electricity and its conversion to hydrogen are key components of our approach.
By using the latest technology every step of the way, they create a fully integrated large-scale production line that will produce fossil-free steel. Fossil-free, high-quality steel that can be used in industries that need to transform their entire supply chain to fossil-free e.g., automotive, commercial vehicles, white goods, furniture and industrial equipment.
H2GS AB wants to accelerate the transition of the European steel industry. The pace of change must increase – something that is vital for us to achieve climate targets. Cutting costs at every step of the way through automation, digitalization, a fully integrated and circular production flow, and access to energy from renewable energy sources is accelerating that transition.
Thanks to H2Greensteel