SSAB is taking part in meetings and seminars in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, which this year is hosted by Egypt. SSAB will, as part of Business Sweden’s delegation, raise the need for enabling regulatory frameworks and a level playing field, as well as highlight the importance of partnerships and cross-sector co-operation to reach Paris Agreement targets.

The steel industry accounts for about 7% of emissions globally. It is evident that new technologies, such as HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology), can deliver substantial emission cuts but the transition needs to be accelerated as shown by the latest report from UN Climate Change. (Climate Plans Remain Insufficient: More Ambitious Action Needed Now | UNFCCC). The green transformation also requires a societal change that needs to be underpinned by enabling regulatory frameworks, large investments and cooperation along value chains and between private and public sectors. Global carbon pricing mechanisms and standards that put a quality stamp on near-zero emission materials can play an important role in reaching climate targets.

“The cost of emission, the need for standards and a level playing field are important topics that need to be discussed,” said Martin Pei, CTO at SSAB. “We need to create transparency and credibility on what true near-zero emissions materials are. Today, there´s no agreed definition for these materials, nor for how to measure  CO2 intensity along value chains for the end product. Ambitious standards would contribute to the scale-up of production technologies that set the steel industry on a 1.5-2C compatible path.”

The technologies to make this happen are here. Replacing blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces with hydrogen-based direct reduction iron (DRI) and electric arc furnaces with fossil-free electricity can virtually remove CO2 emissions from the steelmaking process. The Hybrit pilot plant, jointly co-owned by SSAB, mining company LKAB and utility company Vattenfall, has already produced hydrogen-reduced sponge iron from which SSAB in 2021 made and delivered test steel to Volvo Group. New research within the HYBRIT project, has also shown superior results with regard to the properties and quality of this hydrogen direct reduced sponge iron.