The HYBRIT project, whose stakeholders are Swedish specialty steelmaker SSAB, iron ore pellet producer LKAB and power producer Vattenfall, has received Eur143 million ($157 million) from the EU Innovation Fund.
LKAB said the HYBRIT project will receive the funds for an industrial- and commercial-scale demonstration of a complete value chain for hydrogen-based iron and steelmaking, from mine to fossil-free steel.
HYBRIT was granted support to further advance the development towards eliminating emissions from iron and steel production by using fossil-free hydrogen for direct reduction of iron ore in the process, the company said.
HYBRIT, or Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology, was created in 2016 with the goal of developing a technology for fossil-free iron and steelmaking. The project produced its first steel in late 2021 and aims to be supplying the market with zero-carbon steel at a commercial scale by 2026, after the conversion of SSAB’s Oxelösund BFs into an EAF.
The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programs for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In total, the EU is investing more than Eur1.1 billion in seven projects that cover a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonize the European industry and energy sectors, such as chemicals, steel, cement, refineries, and power and heat.
LKAB said the HYBRIT demonstration project is the only iron and steel project to have been granted support in the first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects.
“The support granted via the Innovation Fund is testament to the importance and potential of this technology, and the European Commission is convinced that this cutting-edge project will boost the European Union’s overall competitiveness,” Executive Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said in a statement.
“Green steel has the future, and that future is already here.”
— Filip Warwick