SSAB and Fortum have concluded their FEED study for hydrogen-reduced sponge iron production in Raahe, Finland, without reaching a viable commercial agreement. This conclusion, however, does not deter SSAB's commitment to its green transition in Nordic strip production, aiming for largely fossil-free operations by 2030.
A recent collaborative study between SSAB and Fortum, known as the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED), reached completion. Initiated in June 2023, the study investigated the feasibility of producing hydrogen-reduced sponge iron in Raahe, Finland. Despite the shared interests and efforts, the two companies have acknowledged that under the present conditions, a mutually beneficial commercial agreement isn't attainable, leading to the conclusion of the study.
The collaboration was part of SSAB’s broader strategy, the HYBRIT initiative, which it pursues alongside partners LKAB and Vattenfall. This initiative is a pioneering effort, with a demonstration plant for producing fossil-free sponge iron already underway at LKAB's site in Gällivare, Sweden. The output from this plant is designated for SSAB's transition toward fossil-free production.
Although the exploration with Fortum in Raahe was just one of several considerations for SSAB, both entities have recognized that a commercially feasible arrangement remains out of reach, and consequently, no further actions will follow this joint study.
Nevertheless, SSAB remains steadfast in its path to sustainability. The conclusion of the FEED study with Fortum does not affect SSAB’s overarching plan for the greening of its Nordic strip production. The company is firmly focused on reducing its carbon footprint, with a strategic goal set by the Board of Directors in January 2022 to advance its green transition vigorously.
SSAB envisions a radical transformation, with plans to establish a new, more environmentally friendly mini-mill-based production system in Raahe, Finland, and Luleå, Sweden. This commitment is a clear indication of SSAB's dedication to sustainability, and decisions regarding the investment sequence for Raahe and Luleå are expected in the coming year, keeping the company on track to become predominantly fossil-free by around 2030.
While the joint FEED study with Fortum did not result in a commercial arrangement, SSAB's commitment to reducing its environmental impact remains unshaken. The company's pursuit of a sustainable future for steel production is unwavering, and it is actions like these that demonstrate SSAB's genuine commitment to a greener industry.