SSAB Aims to be the First Fossil-Free Steelmaker Globally

Leading global steel manufacturer and supplier SSAB has set its unprecedented goal to become the first steel company in the world using HYBRIT technology to manufacture fossil-free steel.

June 22, 2021. By News Bureau

Leading global steel manufacturer and supplier SSAB has set its unprecedented goal to become the first steel company in the world using HYBRIT technology to manufacture fossil-free steel.

This year, SSAB already shipped steel made with hydrogen to customers for prototypes. In 2026, the company is planning to start selling fossil-free steel at a commercial scale.

With carbon dioxide emissions predicted to rise by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021, the need for sustainable production processes can't be stressed enough.

Traditionally, steel is produced through an energy-intensive manufacturing process that uses fossil fuels.
According to the International Energy Agency, steel production accounts for 8% of global energy demand and accounts for 7% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.

That's why SSAB has already started its global campaign to become completely fossil-free, making use of its reputation and credibility to take the lead in decarbonizing the steel industry and become the industry's first fossil-free steelmaker.

The campaign will start rolling out in Sweden, Finland, and the United States in June and globally thereafter.

It all starts with a new, technology-based steel production process that utilizes hydrogen instead of fossil fuels. This will allow SSAB to make its products, which include hot rolled steel sheets and coils, not only of the highest quality but also reduce the company's carbon footprint as well.

"Our upcoming breakthrough fossil-free technology is the first real innovation in steelmaking in centuries," says John Kuan, Country manager for South East Asia, SSAB. "SSAB customers will still get the same premium high-strength steel, just adapted for a more environment-friendly future."

Reducing carbon emissions is essential since steel demand is estimated to rise dramatically in several markets in the coming years. In Indonesia, for example, independent information provider S&P Global Platts report that demand for steel is set to hit 22.7 million metric tons in 2024, more than 50% higher than it was in 2018.

Most of the demand comes from the construction sector, but a significant 38% comes from non-infrastructure work, which includes mining where SSAB products such as Hardox® wear plates are already being used by Indonesian firms.

To further assure customers and the public of its sustainability push, SSAB has also been focusing on Environmental Product Declaration or EPDs for all its products. EPDs are independently-verified documents that give information about the environmental impact of products.

EPDs allow customers to take a product like Hardox® wear plate and compare its carbon footprint against products from different companies, although SSAB has always had one of the lowest CO2 emissions in the steel industry.

The company has recognized that achieving a completely fossil-free production will take time, so in order to expedite the process, it has partnered with other leading companies in other fields such as Volvo. The Swedish carmaker and SSAB will work together to eventually produce the world's first vehicles with fossil-free steel.

In fact, Volvo is already slated to start manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel coming from SSAB and made using Hydrogen in 2021. Plans for smaller-scale serial production will follow in 2022, which shall eventually lead to mass production in the coming years.
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