According to Sweden’s Minister of Sustainable Development Mona Sahlin, Sweden’s dependence on oil is expected to end by 2020. Sweden has stated its ambition to be the first country in the world to completely ban the use of oil as fuel, thanks in large part to the country’s outstanding development of renewable energy sources.
To achieve this aim, Sweden has started building a steel plant without fossil fuels. This landmark event was announced in a press conference by luminaries of the industry such as Jan Mostrom, CEO of the Swedish mining company LKAB, Magnus Hall, CEO of Vattenfall utility company, Martin Lindqvist, CEO of the Swedish steel company SSAB, Réni Kolessar, Research Director from the Energy Agency and Isabella Lovin, Minister of International Cooperation for Development and Climate.
The country will build a pilot plant that will test the possibility of making steel without burning fossil fuels. According to Vattenfall, this project is the fruit of its collaboration with the SSAB steel company and the mining company LKAB, and is expected to cost 1.4 billion Swedish kroner.
Currently existing steel factories in Sweden still produce large amounts of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) when coal is used to turn iron into hardened steel, while the new plant, which will be located in the city of Lulea in the north-east of the country, will use hydrogen instead of coal. This technology is expected to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and contribute to the country meeting its targets as laid out under the Paris Climate Agreement.