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European Nations Investing in Green Steel Plant Projects
European Nations Investing in Green Steel Plant Projects

European Nations Investing in Green Steel Plant Projects

  • 17-Feb-2023 10:50 AM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

Sweden [Europe]: In the small military town of Boden, in Sweden's frozen north, a milestone is about to be reached: Europe's first commercial green Steel plant. Massive diggers and excavators are hard at work breaking through layers of snow, mud and ice to make way for the plant that promises to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions by up to 95%.

Steel production is no stranger to environmental pollution, being responsible for around 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions - but with this new technology based on Hydrogen, drastic reductions can be made without sacrificing quality or production speed. This plant could truly mark the beginning of an era of clean Steel-making in Europe.

H2 Green Steel, the company behind the project, has made progress towards their goal of rolling out the first commercial batches of Steel by 2025. Despite delays in construction, they are confident they will reach this milestone soon.

H2 Green Steel is a start-up founded during the pandemic, whose aim to make large-scale green Steel available in Europe. If it succeeds, their products will be used for everyday objects like vehicles, ships, buildings, and bridges - just like traditional Steel from blast furnaces. This could revolutionize the centuries-old European Steelmaking industry.

Northvolt recently opened Sweden's first large-scale electric battery factory, located two hours south of Boden. In order to make their batteries with a greener approach, H2 Green Steel was born as a spinoff project funded by two of Northvolt's founders.

The new Steel plant is set to feature a towering structure, known as a DRI tower. This tower works by using Hydrogen to reduce Iron ore into an Iron form that can then be used in the production of Steel. A key benefit of this method is that it does not produce emissions like those resulting from coke-coal processing. The by-product of this reaction is simply water vapour.

H2Green Steel recently announced the ground-breaking news that all Hydrogen used in their new green Steel plant will be produced in-house. Through a process called electrolysis, water from a nearby river is passed through an electrolyser - splitting off the Hydrogen molecules and creating renewable energy to fuel the plant.

Renewable energy sources are powering the new Hydrogen plant in northern Sweden. Hydropower from the Lule river, as well as local wind parks, contribute to make the facility a fossil-free powerhouse of green energy.

H2Green Steel has sealed a deal with Spanish energy company Iberdrola to construct a revolutionary green Steel plant using solar energy in the Iberian Peninsula. They are considering further possibilities for similar projects in Brazil.

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have joined forces to create Hybrit- a Swedish Steel company that plans to open a fossil-free Steel plant in northern Sweden by 2026. This ambitious project has been given a boost by state funding from the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU's Innovation fund. It is setting itself up for friendly competition with other companies on home soil.

Sweden is setting the standard for Carbon-reducing Steel production in Europe, but it's important to understand its true potential, as Katinka Lundberg - a senior policy advisor from Brussels-based climate think tank E3G - explains. By 2030, Green Steel aims to produce 5 million tonnes of green Steel annually. This would represent a significant increase from the World Steel Association's estimate of 2000 million tonnes of Steel produced annually globally.

Europe is set to become a leader in green Steel production, with major companies and governments investing in projects that will increase the proportion of green Steel available. GravitHy aims to open a Hydrogen-based plant in France by 2027, while German Steel giant Thyssenkrupp announced that it will introduce Carbon-neutral production at all its plants by 2045. ArcelorMittal and the Spanish government are also investing in green Steel projects in northern Spain, helping to create a more sustainable future.

The European Union is in the process of implementing a new strategy, known as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. This policy is intended to make it more expensive for European companies to purchase Steel from other parts of the world that does not meet certain environmental standards.

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