Swedish Steel AB (SSAB), Swedish iron-ore miner LKAB and Sweden’ s power provider, Vattenfall, announced this week they are launching an initiative to solve the carbon dioxide (CO2) problem in the Swedish steel industry. Together, they will work to develop a steel production process that emits water rather than CO2.

SSAB claims its existing production system is already one of the world’s most efficient in terms of CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, existing steelmaking technology using coke plants and blast furnaces means SSAB is Sweden’s largest single source of CO2 emissions.

With its specialized, innovative steel industry, access to fossil-free electricity and the highest-quality iron ore in Europe, Sweden is uniquely positioned for such a project.

“The environment and sustainability have been a part of SSAB’s long-term strategy for many years. But we want to do even more. Under this initiative, we will take responsibility to solve long-term the problem of carbon dioxide in the steel industry,” said Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO at SSAB.

“LKAB makes iron ore products using processes that require less energy and result in fewer emissions than the majority of our competitors. Our focus lies on also optimizing our customers’ processes. This drive for CO2-free ironmaking will be a significant contribution to sustainability,” said Jan Moström, president and group CEO at LKAB.

“It is very pleasing to take part in an initiative to secure the future of one of Sweden’s important branches of industry by using carbon-dioxide-free electricity to replace fossil fuel in steel production. This is the start of a highly interesting, climate-friendly development project that benefits our partners, Vattenfall and not least the climate,” said Magnus Hall, president and CEO at Vattenfall.

The project will also mean a major contribution to a fossil-free Sweden. Implementation of the project will also require national contributions from the state, research institutions and universities over the next 20 to 25 years.

“Sweden has the chance to take the lead in this matter. No other country in Europe has the same opportunity thanks to the competence of our three companies and country’s unique natural resources,” Lindqvist said. “Nevertheless, success requires strong political involvement and commitment. Our three companies have a clear future vision: together we can create a more sustainable future, where one of the goals is steel without coal.”