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Ovako Pioneers Fossil-Free Hydrogen Plant in Hofors, Transforming Swedish Steel Industry

1 Sept 2023

Swedish Prime Minister Inaugurates Innovative Facility Set to Revolutionize Steel Production

Hofors, Sweden: Ovako, a leading European steel manufacturer and one of the largest steel recyclers in the Nordic countries, is making history with the inauguration of its hydrogen plant at the Hofors mill. This groundbreaking achievement marks a significant stride towards a more sustainable steel industry, offering the potential for substantial reductions in global emissions, with far-reaching implications for heavy industries worldwide. The inauguration ceremony will be graced by the presence of Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on September 5th, 2023.

The Hofors mill, with a rich history dating back to the 16th century, embarks on a new chapter in Swedish steel production. Ovako becomes the world's first steel manufacturer to employ fossil-free hydrogen for heating steel before the rolling process, effectively reducing emissions during this critical production step to nearly zero.

Marcus Hedblom, President and CEO of Ovako Group, enthused, "Our steel mill in Hofors was founded as early as the 16th century, and with the new hydrogen plant, we begin a new chapter in Swedish steel history. Heating steel products has previously required large amounts of fossil fuels. We are now the first in the world to heat steel with fossil-free hydrogen before rolling, reducing the emissions in this production step to almost zero."

The fossil-free hydrogen generated by Ovako's state-of-the-art facility will play a pivotal role in heating steel at adjacent rolling mills, resulting in a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to nearly negligible levels. Beyond steel heating, this hydrogen will also fuel cutting-edge, fuel cell-powered trucks, while the excess heat from the plant will be harnessed for district heating.

Ovako's fossil-free hydrogen plant in Hofors ranks as the largest operational facility of its kind in Europe. This innovative industrial heating technology promises substantial global emissions reductions, extending its positive impact well beyond the steel industry.

Marcus Hedblom emphasized, "The hydrogen plant strengthens Sweden's position in sustainable innovations. There is an increasing demand for climate-neutral steel, in which we already hold a leading position, and there is significant interest in the industry for these types of new solutions. Now, we are showing the way forward for making high-grade industrial heat entirely fossil-free, not just for steel."

The inauguration of Ovako's hydrogen plant in Hofors is a testament to Sweden's commitment to sustainable advancements and serves as a beacon of hope for industries seeking eco-friendly alternatives. It reinforces the nation's leadership in climate-neutral steel production, setting a precedent for a greener future in heavy industries globally.

As Ovako continues to spearhead groundbreaking initiatives, the impact of this pioneering hydrogen plant in Hofors promises to reshape the steel industry, offering a cleaner and more sustainable path forward for the world.

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