HYBRIT and other partnerships for industry decarbonisation
To be able to turn the tide and reach our climate goal of making fossil free living possible within one generation, we need to form strong partnerships, like HYBRIT with LKAB/SSAB, Cementa and Preem, who are major players within completely different fields and industries. Vattenfall’s goal is to offer all customers climate-smart energy and enable a life free from fossil fuels. Electrification is a means to reduce CO2 emissions within the transportation, heating and industry sectors.
Partnerships with industry are an effective way forward to develop new solutions so that we can eliminate some of the major sources of CO2 emissions and reach climate goals. Electrification and hydrogen are the keys to success. For example, Vattenfall has launched a joint venture named HYBRIT with mining company LKAB and steel manufacturer SSAB to reduce the impact the Swedish steel industry has on the climate. We are also co-operating with Cementa to develop climate neutral cement. In partnership with Preem we are planning to design a plant that can produce green hydrogen gas for biofuel manufacture using residues from the Swedish pulp industry.
Vattenfall’s projects with SSAB, LKAB, Preem and Cementa can potentially reduce Swedish CO2 emissions by 30 per cent.
What is the HYBRIT initiative?
Vattenfall has joined forces with mining company LKAB and steel manufacturer SSAB to reduce the impact the Swedish steel industry has on the climate. The three companies set up a joint venture company, HYBRIT, in 2017. The aim is to have a fossil-free process for steel manufacturing by 2035. The initiative can cut Sweden's total carbon dioxide emissions by ten per cent and Finland's by seven per cent. It has been described as a crucial project to enable Sweden to meet the targets in the Paris Climate Agreement.
A process called direct reduction will replace the current blast furnace process. Currently, coke is used to convert the iron ore to iron but in the new process the coke will be replaced by hydrogen gas that is produced with fossil free energy sources. The by-product will be water, which in turn can be recovered for the production of hydrogen gas.
Vattenfall and Cementa targeting zero emissions
Cementa and Vattenfall have conducted a pilot study on electrified cement production with the objective of zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This is equivalent to a reduction of about 5 per cent of Sweden's total emissions.
Cement production that is electrified and supplied by an almost fossil free Swedish energy system is the future vision of the CemZero collaborative project. Achieving Cementa's goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions from cement products during their life cycle demands a technological shift.
Decades of work on energy efficiency improvements and phasing out fossil fuels in cement production have enabled Cementa to successively reduce its climate impact. It is low in a global comparison – about 15 per cent lower than the global average. Despite this, carbon dioxide emissions are still the industry's main sustainability challenge.
In January 2019, Cementa and Vattenfall decided to continue their co-operation on the CemZero project and are to investigate the potential for constructing a pilot plant for a climate-smart and sustainable cement production process in Sweden.
Vattenfall and Preem designing a hydrogen gas plant
Vattenfall and Preem have a shared goal of using hydrogen gas in large-scale production of renewable fuels. The Swedish Energy Agency will contribute to the preliminary planning of a new fossil free hydrogen gas plant. With a capacity of 18 megawatts, it is expected to become larger than any similar plant existing in Europe today.
Preem and Vattenfall are now moving ahead with plans to design a plant to produce hydrogen gas for biofuel manufacture based on residues from the Swedish pulp industry. Hydrogen gas is currently generated mainly from natural gas, which leads to carbon dioxide emissions. Producing hydrogen gas from fossil free electricity instead can eliminate these emissions.
By using the new process, the plant will contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25,000 tonnes per year, and emissions in the transport sector are expected to fall by around 230,000 tonnes per year when biofuels replace diesel and petrol. This is equivalent to the emissions from 80,000 vehicles per year.