Swedish iron ore miner LKAB is now boosting both the pace and the level of ambition in its plans towards the transition to carbon-dioxide-free sponge iron. A successful exploration program with dramatically increasing mineral resources means that the plan for future production of sponge iron has been upped to 24.4 million tonnes 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's President & CEO Mr Jan Moström said "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. We are accelerating and expanding the plans for future production of sponge iron produced with hydrogen.”LKAB is now moving towards a rapid industrialization of the Hybrit technology for transforming production in Malmberget & Gällivare, which is closely integrated with SSAB. The plan is to synchronize the transition with SSAB's planned transition and to have switched entirely from pellet production to sponge iron amounting to some 5.4 million tonnes by the 2030s. This will enable emissions reductions amounting to about 9 million tonnes at SSAB. The Hybrit technology, which is developed in collaboration with SSAB and Vattenfall, will be industrialized 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 plantWhen the transition has been completed, with increased production, by around 2050, the target is for LKAB to produce 24.4 million tonnes of sponge iron per year, 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 and 50 million tonnes per year 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 per year by 2030, increasing to 50 TWh by 2040 and finally reaching 70 TWh per year when the entire expansion has been realized by 2050. In March 2022 LKAB reported dramatically increased mineral reserves and mineral resources. This refers to deposits containing about 4 billion tonnes, 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.