Tag Archives: SSAB

Epiroc introduces ‘Smart’ and ‘Green’ series to highlight zero-emission and automation benefits

Epiroc has ramped up deliveries of battery-electric vehicles and is now seeing strong results from the field in terms of productivity, CO2 reduction and customer satisfaction, it says.

The “Smart and Green” series is the next step to highlight the benefits of zero-emission technology and automation – together with several strong partnerships and initiatives within the sustainability field, according to Epiroc.

This will see the underground battery-electric range rebranded to the Smart and Green series, broadening the fleet to potentially include other zero-emission technologies in the future, the company said. These battery-powered machines come equipped with Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, which makes them ready for smart functionality such as automation and remote control.

“Mining is an essential part of modern society, and crucial in the shift to fossil-free energy sources,” Sarah Hoffman, VP Sales and Marketing at Epiroc’s Underground division, said. “We want to provide the equipment to mine the required metals and minerals in the most sustainable way possible.

“Our ambition is to produce the world’s greenest machines, all the way from cell level to recycling of the batteries. And with smart functionality added, we can help improve safety, productivity, and machine availability even further.”

At the same time, Epiroc is also introducing the Smart series for its diesel-powered range outfitted with RCS. Just like the electric range, the machines are prepared for additional functionality from Epiroc’s 6th Sense offering. The included machine models will feature new decal designs as well as updated product naming.

The batteries of the electric range are produced together with Northvolt, who is committed to building the world’s greenest batteries, Epiroc says.

“Sourcing of materials is done ethically to secure a supply chain free from corruption of people and planet,” it said. “The high energy-density batteries are certified with international standards and features a built-in multi-layer safety system.”

Other sustainability initiatives include Epiroc’s recently announced partnership with Swedish steelmaker SSAB to secure fossil-free steel for use in the production of Epiroc’s mining equipment. The partnership with SSAB fits well with Epiroc’s ambitious sustainability goals for 2030, which includes halving its CO2e emissions.

In 2021, Epiroc received validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its targets to reduce emissions in own operations as well as our customers’ operations where Epiroc equipment is being operated. The SBTi validated Epiroc’s climate targets as being in line with keeping global warming at a maximum 1.5°C, consistent with the latest climate science and the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.

By 2025, Epiroc aims to offer a complete range of emission-free underground products.

Schlam to leverage SSAB’s fossil-free steel in future mining products

SSAB, the leading global Swedish steel company, has entered an agreement with Australia-based mining equipment and engineering services provider, Schlam, that, it says, will revolutionise the steel industry by promoting the increased use of fossil-free steel with a drastically reduced CO2 footprint.

As part of the ambition, both SSAB and Schlam will look to integrate fossil-free steel into their existing products and Schlam will leverage SSAB’s fossil-free steel to bring to market a new generation of sustainable products to reduce its CO2 footprint, SSAB says.

“I’m pleased to announce this collaboration with SSAB,” Matt Thomas, CEO of Schlam Group, said. “It builds on our shared expertise and a determination to drive innovation.”

In addition to the steel products, both organisations recognise the need to cooperate not just in their capacities as industry leaders, but also in the areas of sustainability and CO2 emissions, SSAB says. A common knowledge exchange will be a consistent thread throughout the course of cooperation, as Schlam pushes ahead to make fossil-free end products the new expectation for the Australian mining industry.

Schlam is also a partner of SSAB’s Hardox® In My Body program customer. The program has more than 500 members in 60 countries and members serve a wide range of industries, including mining, construction, quarrying, road building, recycling, demolition and agriculture. The Hardox In My Body sign represents equipment that is manufactured to the highest standards by a qualified Hardox In My Body member. All members have been thoroughly assessed and have earned the right to display this logo as a sign of their commitment.

Matthew Spiteri, Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand at SSAB, said: “We’re proud to welcome Schlam as a partner and look forward to creating more demand for fossil-free steel products in Australia.”

HYBRIT partners inaugurate fossil-free hydrogen gas storage pilot facility

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have, today, inaugurated HYBRIT’s pilot facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas storage at Svartöberget in Luleå, Sweden.

The rock cavern storage facility is the first of its kind in the world, with the inauguration ceremony marking the start of the two-year test period, which will run until 2024.

The HYBRIT initiative was launched in 2016 by the three owners: SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall. Within this, the hydrogen storage facility will play a very important role in the overall value chain for fossil-free iron and steel production. Producing fossil-free hydrogen gas when there is a lot of electricity, for example when it is very windy, and using stored hydrogen gas when the electricity system is under strain, will ensure a steady production of sponge iron, the raw material behind fossil-free steel, the partners said.

The technology for storing gas in a lined rock cavern (LRC) is well proven and has been used in southern Sweden for about 20 years for storing natural gas, the partners says. Now the technology is taking a step forward by the development for storage of hydrogen gas. The storage facility is set to be used more dynamically, being filled and emptied at pace with the hydrogen production.

The pilot plant has a size of 100 cu.m. At a later stage, a full-scale hydrogen gas storage facility measuring 100,000-120,000 cu.m may be required, in which case it will be able to store up to 100 GWh of electricity converted to hydrogen gas, which is sufficient to supply a full-sized sponge iron factory for three to four days.

Andreas Regnell, Chairman of the Board, Hybrit Development AB (HDAB), and Senior Vice President and Head of Strategic Development at Vattenfall, said: “We want to develop HYBRIT so that it is in line with the electricity system of the future, with more weather-dependent electricity generation. The storage facility is unique and, once again, the HYBRIT initiative is taking the lead in the fossil-free transition. HYBRIT is very important for facing the climate challenge and enabling fossil-free living within one generation.”

Martin Pei, CTO at SSAB, added: “SSAB has the opportunity to transform our operations and cut 10% of Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions as well as 7% of Finland’s, and this will take us one step closer to our goal. The hydrogen storage facility is an important piece of the puzzle in ensuring stable steel production and a milestone in the development of HYBRIT.”

Lars Ydreskog, Senior Vice President Strategic Projects at LKAB, said hydrogen gas and its storage were central to its transition.

“In four years, HYBRIT technology will be used on a large scale in the first demonstration plant in Gällivare, and the plan is to then build more sponge iron factories,” Ydreskog said. “LKAB will, therefore, need to become one of Europe’s biggest hydrogen producers, and this pilot project will provide valuable knowledge for the continuing work on creating the world’s first fossil-free value chain for the iron and steel industry.”

Using HYBRIT technology, SSAB can reduce Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10%. SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have invested a total of SEK259 million ($25 million) in the hydrogen storage itself, divided into three equal parts, and the Swedish Energy Agency has contributed with SEK72 million.

Volvo Construction Equipment hands over A30G made of fossil-free steel to NCC

In the latest step on its path toward carbon neutrality, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has become the first manufacturer to deliver a construction machine – a A30G articulated hauler – built using fossil-free steel to a customer.

The move, the company says, demonstrates the fast-tracking of innovation to real-world solutions as companies across the value chain come together to drive change.

The A30G articulated hauler built using fossil-free steel was handed over by President of Volvo CE, Melker Jernberg, to long-standing construction customer NCC on June 1, 2022, at a ceremony hosted by LeadIt – the Leadership Group for Industry Transition – in conjunction with the United Nations environmental meeting Stockholm +50.

The move comes just nine months after the company unveiled the world’s first vehicle concept using fossil-free steel, as part of the testing of the implementation in an ordinary production setup.

That machine, the latest concept unit produced of its TA15 battery electric, cabless and autonomous hauler for use in mining and quarrying, was unveiled at a green steel collaboration event on October 13, 2021, in Gothenburg, hosted by Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO Volvo Group.

While commercial introduction is expected to be gradual with selected customers, this first handover is an important milestone in the group’s ambition to drive industry transformation towards global climate goals, Volvo CE says. The A30G is produced at Volvo CE’s Braås facility in Sweden, using the existing manufacturing process, with fossil-free steel from Swedish steel company SSAB.

While the A30G is a 29 t payload articulated hauler more suited to the construction industry, the fossil-free move to bigger vehicles used in mining is also expected in the future.

Jernberg says: “We are sure that to succeed in decarbonising the construction industry, actors in the value chain will need to collaborate and act. Thanks to our strong partnerships with other driven and forward-thinking companies, we are now able to lead the change towards fossil-free construction and be the first to deliver a machine built using fossil-free steel to a customer. Turning commitments into actions is key to building the world we want to live in.”

Tomas Carlsson, CEO and President of NCC, says: “NCC has a firm commitment to contribute to sustainable development. We are working determinedly and systematically to reach that target, which includes selecting machines that live up to our high demands. As demonstrated in this great example, it takes strong and proactive partnerships between several players to make the sustainable shift possible.”

As part of its Science-Based Targets commitment, Volvo CE plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Alongside the electrification of its machines, the company recognises the importance of reducing its carbon footprint across its entire value chain. This includes the raw materials used in its products, of which steel is a major component. The production using fossil-free steel in Volvo CE’s machines and components will be gradual and depend on aspects such as steel availability.

LKAB accelerates carbon-dioxide-free sponge iron plans

LKAB says it is boosting both the pace and the level of ambition of its plans towards transitioning to carbon-dioxide-free sponge iron following a successful exploration program.

A dramatic increase in mineral resources means that the plan for future production of sponge iron has been upped to 24.4 Mt/y by 2050. This will enable a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions among global steel industry customers corresponding to nearly all of Sweden’s current greenhouse gas emissions, LKAB says.

“The climate can’t wait and demand for the raw material for producing fossil-free steel is already upon us – before we have even reached the market,” Jan Moström, LKAB’s President and CEO, said.

In March 2022, LKAB reported increased mineral reserves and mineral resources, referencing deposits containing about 4,000 Mt, which will enable production far beyond 2060. LKAB’s known mineral reserves and resources now add up to double the amount thus far mined in the company’s 130-year history.

“We are accelerating and expanding the plans for future production of sponge iron produced with hydrogen,” Moström said.

LKAB is now moving towards a rapid industrialisation of the HYBRIT technology for transforming production in Malmberget/Gällivare, which is closely integrated with SSAB. The plan is to synchronise the transition with SSAB’s planned transition and to have switched entirely from pellet production to sponge iron amounting to some 5.4 Mt by the 2030s. This will enable emissions reductions amounting to about 9 Mt at SSAB.

Moström added: “After the most recent climate reports from the UN, the urgency of the climate issue must be obvious to everyone. We can see that this transition also makes good business sense and that it creates jobs, growth and yield on investments. By leading the way towards the green transition, we are also building Sweden’s competitive advantage internationally.

“The entire value chain must undergo a transformation, and quickly. The HYBRIT technology, which we have developed in collaboration with SSAB and Vattenfall, will be industrialised starting in Gällivare, where the first plant will be operational in 2026. The capacity increase LKAB is now planning corresponds to three more such facilities in Malmberget/Gällivare within barely a few years after commissioning of the first HYBRIT plant.”

When the transition has been completed, with increased production, by around 2050, the target is for LKAB to produce 24.4 Mt/y of sponge iron, with zero carbon dioxide emissions. By removing the oxygen from the iron ore by means of electrically-produced hydrogen gas, instead of the steel mills using fossil carbon in blast furnaces, LKAB can enable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions of between 40-50 Mt/y at steelmaking customers. That corresponds to nearly all of Sweden’s current annual greenhouse gas emissions.

A rapid transition places higher demands on fossil-free electricity and more power distribution infrastructure. LKAB’s demand, needed mainly for hydrogen gas production, is estimated at 20 TWh/y by 2030, increasing to 50 TWh/y by 2040 and finally reaching 70 TWh/y when the entire expansion has been realised by 2050.

“To make the climate transition a reality, we will need a massive expansion of power production and distribution,” Moström said. “We need to double electricity production within the next 25 years, and the iron and steel industry value chain is waiting for very other TWh of this.”

The switch from pellets to sponge iron also means that the value of the product increases significantly, according to LKAB.

Moström concluded: “In terms of today’s market prices, this expansion would triple LKAB’s revenue. By building up production of sponge iron, we are increasing the value of LKAB’s, and thereby Sweden’s, mineral reserves and resources, and creating growing export values. Above all, we are making an enormous effort for the benefit of the climate.”

Epiroc, SSAB to partner on fossil-free steel use in mining equipment

Epiroc says it is starting a partnership with steelmaker SSAB to secure fossil-free steel for use in the production of Epiroc’s mining equipment.

SSAB aims to deliver fossil-free steel to the market in commercial scale during 2026, and delivered the first steel made of hydrogen-reduced iron in 2021. It is working with iron ore producer LKAB and energy company Vattenfall as part of the HYBRIT initiative to develop a value chain for fossil-free iron and steel production, replacing coking coal traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. This process virtually eliminates carbon dioxide-emissions in steel production, according to the HYBRIT partners.

Epiroc will initially use fossil-free steel for material for a prototype underground machine produced at its facility in Örebro, Sweden, and the plan is to increase the usage of fossil-free steel over time.

“Sustainability is integrated in everything we do, and we are committed to halving our CO2e emissions by 2030,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, says. “This exciting partnership with SSAB will support us and our customers on the journey to reach our very ambitious climate goals. It is clear that our innovation agenda goes hand-in-hand with our customers’ sustainability agenda.”

Martin Lindqvist, SSAB’s President and CEO, said: “We are very happy to welcome Epiroc in our partner group and look forward to the fossil-free steel collaboration.It’s a natural next step in our joint efforts to mitigate climate change. Demand for fossil-free steel is increasing, which is one of the reasons for SSAB to bring forward its green transition with the ambition to largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions around 2030.”

In the shift to a low-carbon economy, development of new technologies like this is crucial for making the transition possible, Epiroc says. The partnership with SSAB fits well with Epiroc’s ambitious sustainability goals for 2030, including halving its CO2e emissions.

In 2021, Epiroc received validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its targets to reduce emissions in own operations as well as when customers use the sold products. The SBTi validated Epiroc’s climate targets as being in line with keeping global warming at a maximum 1.5°C, consistent with the latest climate science and the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, Epiroc’s 2030 sustainability goals include halving its CO2e emissions in transport as well as from relevant suppliers, having 90% renewable energy in own operations, and offering a full range of emissions-free products.

Last year, Volvo Group revealed what it said was the world’s first vehicle made of fossil-free steel from SSAB, plus announced that more vehicles will follow in 2022 in what will be a series of concept vehicles and components using the material.

Schlam offers iron ore miners higher payload potential, longer service life with Hercules EXO

Western Australia-based mining product and services supplier, Schlam, has launched the Hercules EXO, a next-generation mining dump body that, it says, offers iron ore miners both a higher payload potential and longer service life.

The Hercules EXO is a 240-t-class iron ore specific dump body that is 20% lighter than the company’s existing Hercules dump body. The decreased weight gives miners a greater payload potential, while a complete redesign and new material selection have resulted in a 100% increase in service life, according to the company.

Schlam CEO, Matt Thomas, says miners will no longer have to compromise between payload and longer service life with the arrival of the Hercules EXO.

“The Hercules EXO is an ultra-lightweight body that maximises payload without sacrificing body life or requiring the addition of wear packages,” he said. “It is the culmination of 20 years of continuous improvement and innovation wrapped into one high performance dump body.”

Schlam’s engineering department completely redesigned the previous Hercules to reduce weight in all non-wearing components.

“The team looked at the structural componentry individually to reduce weight so we can maximise steel thickness in the wearing areas, where it really matters,” Thomas said. “Using hybrid steel thickness, combined with Hardox® 500 Tuf steel from Swedish steelmaker SSAB in the wearing areas, means that the EXO has a service life more than double other lightweight options.”

The extra service life has three added benefits: cost, safety and the environment, Schlam says.

Compared with heavy-duty products on the market that use liner packages, the payload potential of the Hercules EXO is far more significant, according to the company. It also does not require the labour-intensive wear plate replacement events needed to achieve target body life.

“When you factor in stored energy, working at heights, craneage, welding and more, liner replacement is high-risk work,” Thomas said. “The Hercules EXO removes these risks making it a safer option for miners.”

The EXO project was completed in close consultation with Schlam’s customers, who revealed carbon impact is increasingly coming to the forefront of their concerns, the company said.

“It’s no secret that steel production creates a lot of carbon,” Thomas said. “However, having a dump body that uses less steel in the original manufacturing process and only needs to be replaced every eight years rather than every four has a massive net benefit on carbon production.”

HYBRIT partners produce world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall say they have now produced the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron at a pilot scale.

The technological breakthrough in the HYBRIT initiative captures around 90% of emissions in conjunction with steelmaking and is a decisive step on the road to fossil-free steel, the partners say.

The feat from the HYBRIT pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden, showed it is possible to use fossil-free hydrogen gas to reduce iron ore instead of using coal and coke to remove the oxygen. Production has been continuous and of good quality, the companies said, with around 100 t made so far.

This is the first time ever that hydrogen made with fossil-free electricity has been used in the direct reduction of iron ore at a pilot scale, according to the HYBRIT partners. The goal, in principle, is to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the steelmaking process by using only fossil-free feedstock and fossil-free energy in all parts of the value chain.

Hydrogen-based reduction is a critical milestone, which paves the way for future fossil-free iron and steelmaking. SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall intend, through HYBRIT, to create the most efficient value chain from the mine to steel, with the aim of being first to market, in 2026, with fossil-free steel at an industrial scale, they say.

Last year, HYBRIT, a joint initiative of SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, began test operations to make hydrogen-reduced sponge iron in the pilot plant built with support from the Swedish Energy Agency. The technology is being constantly developed and the sponge iron that has been successfully made using hydrogen technology is the feedstock for the fossil-free steel of the future, they say.

Jan Moström, President and CEO at LKAB, said: “This is a major breakthrough both for us and for the entire iron and steel industry. LKAB is the future supplier of sponge iron and this is a critical step in the right direction. Progress with HYBRIT enables us to maintain the pace in our transition and, already in 2026, we will begin the switch to industrial-scale production with the first demonstration plant in Gällivare, Sweden. Once LKAB has converted its entire production to sponge iron, we will enable the transition of the steel industry and reduce global emissions by around 35 Mt a year, which corresponds to two thirds of Sweden’s entire emissions. This is the greatest action we can take together for the good of the climate.”

Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO at SSAB, added: “This technological breakthrough is a critical step on the road to fossil-free steel. The potential cannot be underestimated. It means that we can reach climate goals in Sweden and Finland and contribute to reducing emissions across Europe. At the same time, it creates new jobs and export successes. SSAB’s transition means we will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10% in Sweden and 7% in Finland. High-strength fossil-free steel will also allow us to help our customers to strengthen their competitiveness. As early as this year, we will deliver minor quantities of steel made using hydrogen-based reduction to customers, and in 2026 we will deliver fossil-free steel at a large scale.”

The hydrogen used in the direct reduction process is generated by electrolysis of water with fossil-free electricity, and can be used immediately or stored for later use, according to the partners. In May, HYBRIT began work on building a pilot-scale hydrogen storage facility adjacent to the direct reduction pilot plant in Luleå.

Anna Borg, President and CEO at Vattenfall, said: “Sweden’s and Vattenfall’s fossil-free electricity is a basic requirement for the low carbon footprint of hydrogen-reduced sponge iron. The breakthrough that we can announce today shows in a very real way how electrification contributes to enabling a fossil-free life within a generation.”

Howden to deliver hydrogen storage compression solution for HYBRIT

Howden says it has been selected to deliver a hydrogen storage compression solution for HYBRIT, the world’s first fossil-free steel plant, in Svartöberget, Sweden.

A joint project between Sweden’s SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, HYBRIT is the deployment of a unique pilot project for large-scale hydrogen storage. This initiative leads the development of the world’s first fossil-free value chain for the iron and steel industry, to address renewable hydrogen storage.

Howden has been contracted to supply a high-pressure diaphragm compression package to seamlessly integrate the storage cycle of the hydrogen production. The hydrogen compression includes installation and commissioning of a packaged three stage diaphragm compressor.

The storage facility consists of a 100 cu.m hydrogen storage built in an enclosed rock cavern approximately 30 m below ground. This offers a cost-effective solution, with the necessary pressure required, to store large amounts of energy in the form of hydrogen, Howden said.

The reliability, efficiency and safety delivered by Howden’s compression solution matches with the large-scale hydrogen storage requirements, relative to the storage conditions and the evaluation of the amount of time during which the compression pressure remains at the desired level, it added.

HYBRIT supports the European Union’s Hydrogen Strategy and its ambition to install at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU by 2024 and at least 40 GW by 2030.

Salah Mahdy, Global Director – Hydrogen at Howden, said: “Our partnership with HYBRIT demonstrates Howden’s capabilities in developing and delivering state-of-art hydrogen compressor solutions, based on our long-standing compression expertise. We have over 100 years of experience in the compression of hydrogen, which is ideally placed to support the transition to a fossil-free energy system.

“We’re thrilled to be working on this ground-breaking project, which has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by at least 10%. The steel industry currently accounts for about 7% of the world’s global carbon emissions, so the creation of a zero-emission steel is revolutionary, and may, in the future, help to reduce emissions from iron and steel production worldwide.”

Mikael Nordlander, Head of R&D Portfolio Industry Decarbonisation, Vattenfall, adds: “Fossil-free hydrogen is central to the HYBRIT process. Hydrogen can be produced cost-effectively through the electrolysis of water using fossil-free electricity. The hydrogen produced by the electrolysers can be used immediately or stored for later use. One of the key aspects of our storage facility relies on the hydrogen compression to be deployed in a contamination-free manner. Based on their proven technology, expertise and references, we are delighted to cooperate with Howden on the integration of a reliable compression solution for storage.”

Howden says it is focused on helping customers increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their air and gas handling processes enabling them to make sustainable improvements in their environmental impact. It designs, manufactures and supplies products, solutions and services to customers around the world across highly diversified end-markets and geographies.

HYBRIT partners start building underground fossil-free hydrogen storage facility in Luleå

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have commenced building a rock cavern storage facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas on a pilot scale next to the HYBRIT pilot facility for direct reduced iron in Luleå, northern Sweden.

This is an important step in the development of a fossil-free value chain for fossil-free steel, the companies said, with the investment of just over SEK250 million ($29 million) divided equally across the holding companies and the Swedish Energy Agency, which provides support via Industriklivet.

As part of the SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall joint HYBRIT initiative, Hybrit Development AB is starting the construction of a hydrogen storage facility in Svartöberget to develop the technology for storage.

Fossil-free hydrogen, which will replace coal and coke, is a crucial part of the production technique for fossil-free iron and steel production, where emissions of carbon dioxide will be virtually eliminated, the companies said. Hydrogen can be produced cost effectively through the electrolysis of water using fossil-free electricity. The hydrogen produced by the electrolysers can be used immediately or stored for later use.

Hydrogen storage is predicted to play a very important role in future power and energy balancing, and in large-scale hydrogen production, according to the companies. The storage facility is expected to be operational from 2022-2024.

Andreas Regnell, Head of Strategy at Vattenfall and Chairman of the Board at HYBRIT, said: “We’re really pleased that HYBRIT is continuing to lead the development of efficient production for fossil-free steel, as we’re now also building a pilot storage facility for large-scale fossil-free hydrogen in Luleå.

“Storage provides the opportunity to vary demand for electricity and stabilise the energy system by producing hydrogen when there’s a lot of electricity, for example in windy conditions, and to use stored hydrogen when the electricity system is under strain.”

Martin Pei, Technical Director of SSAB and Board member of HYBRIT, said: “By developing a method for hydrogen storage and securing access to fossil-free electricity, we’re creating a value chain all the way out to customers where everything is fossil-free – from the mine to the electricity and to the finished steel. This is unique.”

The 100 cu.m hydrogen storage is being built in an enclosed rock cavern around 30 m below ground. Building the storage facility underground provides opportunities to ensure the pressure required to store large amounts of energy in the form of hydrogen in a cost-effective way, the companies said.

The technology used is adapted to Scandinavian bedrock conditions and will be further developed to handle the storage of hydrogen.

The storage facility is based on proven technology and the hydrogen is used in the plant’s direct reduction reactor to remove oxygen from iron ore pellets, the companies said. The fossil-free sponge iron resulting from the process is then used as a raw material in the manufacture of fossil-free steel.

Industrialisation of fossil-free steel under the HYBRIT initiative is intended to start with the first demonstration plant, which will be ready in 2026, for the production of 1.3 Mt of fossil-free sponge iron in Gällivare, Sweden. The goal is to expand sponge iron production to a full industrial scale of 2.7 Mt/y by 2030 to be able to supply SSAB, among others, with feedstock for fossil-free steel.