2021-03-24 18:24Press release

Mundus Nordic Green News – 24 March, 2021

Mundus Nordic Green News

HYBRIT: Gällivare announced as site for fossil-free steel production. SSAB and LKAB deepen cooperation

In summer, a pilot plant was inaugurated in Luleå, using hydrogen instead of coke to produce sponge iron, a raw material for steel production, from which SSAB will then manufacture the “green steel” at its Oxelösund's plant. Now SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have announced that LKABs Gällivare site has won out as a location over Luleå to build a demonstration plant. The choice of Gällivare was made due to an overall assessment of industrial synergies, with proximity to iron ore, logistics, electricity supply and energy optimization all important factors.

At the same time, SSAB and LKAB are deepening their partnership to create the most efficient value chain from mine, to steel, to customer for fossil-free steel. 

Anna Borg , President and CEO of Vattenfall commented “Sweden and HYBRIT have a world-leading position in enabling fossil-free iron and steel production and now the initiative is being scaled up further. Using fossil-free electricity and pioneering processes in principle completely eliminate climate-affecting emissions from iron and steel production is a flagship example of Vattenfall's strategy to enable a fossil-free life within a generation. Now it becomes extra important that the permit processes can deliver at the same pace as fossil-free steel production.”

At a press conference today the parties said that construction of the demonstration facility would begin at the turn of the year 2022/2023, and be completed by 2026, at a cost of more than SEK 10 billion. The plant will produce 1.3 million tpa of fossil-free sponge iron. A second plant is mooted to be built by 2030. 

The interest in fossil-free steel is great, according to SSAB's CEO Martin Lindqvist, who also says that interest is increasing over time. "We are reviewing the possibilities to meet this increasing demand from our customers. In 2026 we will have large volumes of fossil-free steel on the market and already this year we will be able to use the iron ore and produce fossil-free. We will also help our customers develop prototypes for their products". (press release, Dagens Industri)

Svebio questions the relevant competence of forest researchers calling for stop to biofuels

On 18 February Dagens Nyheter wrote that "500 researchers call on the EU and the US to stop providing support for biofuels from the forest". But Svebio says that an analysis reveals that of the 44 researchers in Sweden who signed the call, nine out of ten lack expertise in the subject - the carbon balance and climate effects from the use of biofuels from forests. Svebio reports that the journal Bioenergi has put a very detailed set of questions to the Swedish researchers, and cites several of the responses which substantiate Svebio’s claim. Many of the researchers' experience relating to forests is to do with biodiversity, whereas biodiversity is not the main argument used against forest-derived biofuels. (press release, Bioenergi)

The Swedish Government wants to increase the mining of "green" metals

The Government has instructed the Swedish Geological Survey (SGU) to work together with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to increase the opportunities for sustainable extraction of minerals and metals from secondary resources. The work will contribute to the transition to a more circular and resource-efficient economy, in accordance with the government's strategies for smart industry and circular economy. The assignment will also focus on critical minerals and metals, but be able to include other minerals and metals. (press release)

Has the European Commission changed its mind on taxonomy?

According to a leaked document, protests from the Nordic countries and the forest industry seem to have been heard when the European Commission now comes up with new proposals for classifying sustainable investments. According to Rickard Nordin, the economic and energy policy spokesperson for the Center Party, “It is good news that it is not possible to classify the forest as unsustainable or to place very tough restrictions on use”. (Nyteknik)

Wilhelmsen announces huge investments into renewable energy

The Wilhelmsen Group, a Norwegian supplier to the shipping industry, has set an investment target of USD 500 million, just over NOK 4.2 billion, related to renewable energy. "We will invest in new businesses with the long-term goal of switching from mainly oil and gas-related activities to activities related to the renewable sector," writes Wilhelmsen CEO Thomas Wilhelmsen. (press release)

Tough day for new green listings

The shares of Green Minerals, which listed this week, plunged by 11% on Euronext Growth yesterday. Green Minerals, which was spun out of seismic company Seabird Exploration, had no income in 2020. The company says it will be engaged in deep-sea mining of sea minerals and rare earths for use in renewable energy, technology and other electronic devices.

Kyoto Group, which also just listed on Euronext Growth saw its shares fall even more steeply, down by 29% since its capital raising. Kyoto’s concept is to develop, operate and sell HeatCube thermal batteries, with a capacity from 5 MW and upwards, to manage fluctuations in energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind power. (Investor.dn, Europower Energi)

Swedish Energy Agency: Electricity exports will rise to 38 TWh in 2023

Swedish electricity exports look set to increase from 25 TWh in 2020 to almost 38 TWh in 2023 as a result of a strong expansion of wind power and solar power, the Swedish Energy Agency's short-term forecast shows. According to the forecast, wind power is expected to increase from 28 TWh in 2020 to 42 TWh in 2023, while solar power will more than triple from 0.7 TWh to 2.5 TWh between 2019-2023. (Montel)

What we’re reading
  • US Oil Company Leaders Support Carbon Pricing Plan (Wall Street Journal)
  • EU to offer gas plants a green finance label, under certain conditions (Euractiv)
  • 9 leading EU politicians says “The EU needs a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism that is effective, legitimate and fair” (Politico)
  • Net zero targets show promise, but many lack substance and short term targets to drive change (RenewEconomy)


About Nordic Green News

The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we clip the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary, in English.