On Tuesday, Mundus Nordic Green reported on the announcement of a green steel start-up – H2 Green Steel. Founder Harald Mix provided further insight on the initiative saying "We do not see this as the steel market, but as the 'green' steel market that is now to be built and established. It takes some courage to start a 'greenfield' project in the steel industry, but we will be a bit of the industry's Tesla and push the rest of the industry to be forced to make a change.”
Customers will not start buying "brown" steel once they have started buying "green" steel." “We started by understanding the customers' needs, timeline and willingness to pay. Now we know what the market can withstand and the past year has been about how we can set up a plant that can be so cost-effective that we do not need 30 to 50% price premium as many of the other major steel companies have talked about. This must already work today with known technology and with the known cost structure."
Harald Mix is the founder and partner of the venture capital company Altor Equity Partners and sits as a board member of Carnegie Investment Bank
Former Swedish trade union chairman, Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson is to be an advisor to the steel manufacturer, SSAB. Thorwaldsson's task will be to help the company become a world leader in fossil-free steel, working directly under CEO Martin Lindqvist with the Hybrit project to produce fossil-free Swedish steel.
According to Thorwaldsson, the project will require a lot of decisions at the Swedish level. A permit will also be needed to produce clean electricity and work with the EU that enables Swedish steel producers to receive fair treatment in relation to their competitors. “It is in this crossroads between industrial development and societal impact. My role will be to ensure that cooperation works, that we get it together with different permits, with the EU and with customs and trade barriers. Unfortunately, Sweden today has a fairly long process for permits and that is something we really need to work on.”
He emphasizes that there is much to be gained from being the first in the world to produce a product that greatly reduces emissions. It is not difficult to find customers for fossil-free steel. “Whoever has the first fossil-free steel will gain a huge market advantage,” presumably a reference to Hybrit’s new competitor H2 Green steel.
According to the Danish Tax Agency, the terms of reference have been decided and the members have been appointed to the expert group that will determine the framework for a uniform taxation of all climate-damaging emissions by 2030. The Chairman will be Professor of Economics Michael Svarer from Aarhus University. He will be supported by 5 other tax experts. The expert group will submit its first interim report at the end of 2021, taking the first step towards establishing the framework for a future uniform CO2 tax. In the autumn of 2022, the expert group will submit the second and final report, to shed light on models for a more uniform CO2 regulation of all covered emissions. It must provide the best possible conditions for the parties to the agreement to determine the framework for a uniform CO2 tax by 2030.
According to Politiken, parties from both the right and left of Parliament ganged up to force the hand of the government to accelerate the timing.
The European Commission has approved Volvo Group and Daimler to create a JV company for fuel cells. The plans for a joint company to develop and start large-scale production of fuel cell systems for heavy trucks were presented in April last year. The arrangement is based on the vehicle giants owning half each. Germany’s Daimler, which already has a large business around fuel cells, will invest that part in the company, while Volvo will have to pay the equivalent of SEK 6.5 billion. The head office is to be located in Germany.
The European Commission considers that the creation of the new company does not violate the competition rules. "Despite the companies' strong position in the manufacture and delivery of heavy trucks, it is unlikely that competing fuel cell manufacturers will be excluded from the market," the European Commission wrote in the decision.
Norway’s former Minister of State, Åslaug Haga will take over the job as CEO of the wind power organization, Norwea. Haga was the leader of the Center Party from 2003 to 2008, and was Minister of Petroleum and Energy in the Stoltenberg II government.
PowerCell Sweden AB said it increased its sales during 4Q20 by 41%, from SEK 27.0 million to SEK 38.2 million. For 2020 as a whole, sales increased by 55% to SEK 103.5 million.
Uniper, a subsidiary of Finland’s Fortum is investigating a large electrolysis plant in Hamburg to produce clean hydrogen, heat and electricity, together with Siemens Energy. The estimated investment for the HH2e plant is estimated to be €500 million. According to Uniper’s CEO Andreas Schierenbeck “This will not be possible without the state support we have applied for with a detailed project plan.”
As reported yesterday, Nel was seeking to raise over NOK 1 billion through a private placement. Today, Nel confirmed that this had been completed successfully at a 4.4% discount to the market price.
Denmark’s SaltPower has sold its first salt power plant to Dansk Salt and is now starting to commercialize the company. Lars Storm Pedersen, CEO of SaltPower said that “SaltPower has been working with the technology for seven years and now has a finished product that will be sold worldwide.“
SaltPower generates electricity from the osmotic pressure when fresh water meets salt water. The force with which the water moves is stronger than a hydroelectric power plant, and this energy can be extracted by connecting a turbine. Currently SaltPower has no competitors and has taken out patents on the technology, creating an energy system that can run independently, around the clock all days of the year. According to Pedersen, “Through two development projects, we have now found the perfect place to produce salt power - namely in salt factories where there is water with a very high salt concentration. This increases the effect dramatically, and our test plant at Dansk Salt in Mariager can produce electricity competitively.”
Australia is a potential market for hydrogen projects, Höegh LNG’s CEO Sveinung JS Støhle said during his company’s fourth quarter presentation. The company has previously communicated that they are exploring the possibilities of using existing FSRUs for storage and delivery of ammonia and hydrogen, through their new business area called Clean Energy. During the presentation, Støhle described how an existing Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) could store ammonia, convert it to hydrogen, turn it into gas and dispatch it to existing pipelines, observing that “Australia has very high ambitions to develop hydrogen, we are very active in Australia, so if you want a clear answer then I think this is definitely a market we will actively investigate to develop this.”
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.