The HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) Demonstration project aims to revolutionize the European iron and steel industry, by replacing fossil-based technologies with climate neutral alternatives. The project plans to replace the coal-based blast furnace technology with direct reduction based on fossil-free hydrogen.
The project will produce approximately 1.2 Mt of crude steel annually, representing 25% of Sweden’s overall production, with the potential to avoid 14.3 Mt CO2e of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the first ten years of operation. 
A new, first-of-a-kind hydrogen production facility in Gällivare will be established, using approximately 500 MW electrolyser capacity powered by fossil-free electricity. The use of hydrogen enables the conversion of iron ore into sponge iron. The project will enable SSAB to replace two blast furnaces in Oxelösund with an electric arc furnace, using the sponge iron as the feedstock to produce high-quality steel without using coking coal in the reduction step.
A solution to introduce fossil-free steel to the market
Currently, crude iron production in coal-fired blast furnaces, followed by steel manufacturing using oxygen converters, represents 95% of the global steel production from iron ore. This route is particularly suitable to produce high quality and high strength carbon steel, however even a state-of-the-art blast furnace process results in generation of about 1.6 tons of CO2 per ton of crude steel (global average approximately 2.2 tons of CO2 per ton crude steel). The HYBRIT technology for iron and steelmaking has the potential to make this traditional way of producing steel obsolete.
The HYBRIT Demonstration project plans to realise the breakthrough of fossil-free steel production by developing a complete, new value chain based on fossil-free hydrogen.
The HYBRIT Demonstration project includes the construction of a greenfield, first-of-a kind, full-scale plant for the direct reduction of iron ore with 100% hydrogen. Moreover, the project includes fossil-free hydrogen production via a water electrolysis plant in Gällivare (500 MW), making use of the high shares of wind and hydropower in the electricity production of the region.
Moreover, steel production with oxygen converters will also be phased out, as the sponge iron will be designed to be melted in an electric arc furnace. This is a technology that is already established for scrap-based melting but must now be adapted to high shares of hydrogen reduced sponge iron and the production of complex steel qualities.
A significant contribution to decarbonise the iron and steelmaking industry
The HYBRIT Demonstration project will contribute to decarbonise a hard-to-abate sector, the iron and steel industry, by using hydrogen produced with fossil-free electricity. The project will facilitate the transition from fossil-based steel production to a fossil-free one, with the aim of enabling SSAB to introduce fossil-free steel to the market already in 2026. Fossil-free steel will be key to downstream manufacturers’ sourcing of fossil-free, climate neutral and recyclable input material.