Global Steel Company SSAB announced today new sustainability target, pledging to be the first steel company worldwide using HYBRIT technology to bring fossil-free steel to the global market by 2026.
Steelmaking is one of the biggest emitters of CO2 globally, with total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the sector accounting for 7% – 9% of direct emissions from the global use of fossil fuels. Several initiatives are emerging to address steel’s climate impact, including the Climate Group’s recently launched SteelZero. SSAB is one of the companies at the forefront of these efforts, through the HYBRIT initiative that it established in 2017 along with partners Vattenfall and LKAB, aiming to revolutionize steelmaking by replacing heavily polluting coking coal, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen.
SSAB is targeting a technology-based steel production process that utilizes hydrogen instead of fossil fuels to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and make higher quality products. According to the company, making the switch between hydrogen and fossil fuels is essential as steel demand is expected to rise in the near future. For example, in Indonesia, the demand for steel in 2024 is expected to be more than 50% higher than it was in 2018.
The company is also committed to ensuring all its products have Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), an independently-verified document that provides insights on the environmental impact of products compared to products from other companies. To achieve fossil-free production, the company is partnering with companies from different fields. Just last month, it announced a new collaboration with Swedish Carmaker Volvo for research, development, serial production and commercialization of the world’s first vehicles to be made of fossil-free steel.
John Kuan, Country manager for South East Asia at SSAB, said:
“Our upcoming breakthrough fossil-free technology is the first real innovation in steelmaking in centuries. SSAB customers will still get the same premium high-strength steel, just adapted for a more environment-friendly future.”