Steel company SSAB and wave energy developer CorPower Ocean have signed an agreement to explore the development of one of the world’s first wave energy power plants made using fossil-free steel.

CorPower Ocean will use the fossil-free steel delivered by SSAB as a structural material to build a wave energy system with significantly lower carbon emissions than what is currently on the market. The goal is to start integrating the fossil-free steel in CorPower Ocean’s commercial products from 2026.

CorPower Ocean makes products that harness ocean waves to generate clean energy, and recently deployed its first commercial scale device off the coast of northern Portugal. Currently around 25 percent of these products’ lifetime CO2 emissions comes from the use of steel as a material in the products.

The deal marks a new step for wave electricity plants where greater emphasis is placed on the full life cycle of energy generating systems, including the sourcing and recycling of structural materials.

“We have supported CorPower Ocean for almost ten years with the selection and specialist design of high-strength steel for its constantly evolving wave energy technology. Now, we are hugely excited for the next chapter of this long-term partnership, delivering fossil-free steel to ensure CorPower Ocean’s commercial product is delivered with the lowest carbon footprint possible,” says Thomas Hörnfeldt, Vice President Sustainable Business at SSAB.

“One of our core company mantras is to deliver the most environmentally friendly electricity on our planet. With our work with SSAB and fossil-free steel we aim to lead the way within the renewable sector by transparent reporting and continuous reduction of lifecycle emissions,” says CorPower Ocean Head of Business Development Anders Jansson.

Partly by using SSAB’s high-strength steel, CorPower Ocean’s technology already delivers more than five times as much electricity per tonne of equipment compared with previous state-of-the-art wave energy systems. Now the introduction of SSAB’s fossil-free steel will further support CorPower Ocean’s commitment to environmentally friendly electricity production.

Wave energy can play a crucial role delivering 24/7 clean energy, matching supply with demand for every hour of every day, year-round. One of the largest untapped sources of clean energy available, wave energy has 500GW of harnessable potential – more than the total global nuclear resource in the world today.

SSAB aims to deliver fossil-free steel to the market at commercial scale in 2026 and to largely eliminate CO2 emissions from its operations in around 2030.

SSAB works 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 the coking coal traditionally used for iron ore-based steelmaking with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen.

This process virtually eliminates carbon dioxide-emissions in steel production.