Sweden’s HYBRIT delivers ‘world’s first’ fossil-free steel to Volvo Group

The technology is expected to support emissions reductions in the steel industry, which currently accounts for around 7% of total global carbon emissions

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Swedish green steel venture HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) has manufactured and delivered what is claimed to be the world’s first fossil-free steel to the first customer, Volvo Group.

With the HYBRIT initiative launched in 2016, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall aimed to create a completely fossil-free value chain from mine to finished steel, with fossil-free pellets, fossil-free electricity and hydrogen.

The companies showcased the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå in June 2021.

This first sponge iron has been used to produce the first steel made with this “breakthrough” technology by SSAB, i.e. reduced by 100% fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke.

The companies are delivering the steel to truck manufacturer Volvo as part of a trial, before full commercial production on an industrial scale in 2026.

Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO of SSAB said: “The first fossil-free steel in the world is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, it represents proof that it’s possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry. We hope that this will inspire others to also want to speed up the green transition.”

The HYBRIT technology is expected to support emissions reductions in the steel industry, which currently accounts for around 7% of total global carbon emissions.

Ibrahim Baylan, Minister of Trade and Industry of Sweden added: “Industry and especially the steel industry create large emissions but are also an important part of the solution. To drive the transition and become the world’s first fossil-free welfare state, collaboration between business, universities and the public sector is crucial.

“The work done by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall within the framework of HYBRIT drives the development of the entire industry and is an international model.”