LKAB have big plans for Narvik

June 20, 2022
Ship at harbour.
LKAB’s quay in Narvik. Photo: Fredric Alm

We need land in Narvik to invest in new projects and create new job opportunities.

"We've been in Narvik for 120 years. Now we're planning for another 120 years," says Jan Moström, CEO and President.

We are facing a significant transition, the biggest in our 130-year history. Through the Hybrit initiative, together with SSAB and Vattenfall, we plan to establish a pilot facility to develop the technology for producing sponge iron using hydrogen and direct reduction of pellets from iron ore. This is the foundation for completely fossil-free steel production without climate emissions.

Carbon emissions from the steel industry account for seven percent of the world’s CO2 emissions.
“Our technology will make a substantial contribution in achieving global climate goals. We’ve decided to convert our entire iron ore production to sponge iron. Sponge iron requires a different logistical setup in Narvik than what we have today. Therefore, we need a larger area to ensure the shipment of sponge iron. This entails new investments and activities in Narvik,” says Jan Moström.

Caring for Narvik

Over the years, we have placed great importance on maintaining a strong connection with the municipality and its political leadership.
“We’re proud to have contributed to growth and development in Narvik. We care about the city, and we care about the people living in Narvik,” says Jan Moström.

LKAB generates activities, job opportunities, and income for businesses and the community. Since 2009, we’ve invested 4-5 billion SEK in our Narvik facility.
“We’re glad to be able to provide support to numerous sports teams and organisations in the municipality each year. We’ve supported initiatives like Narvik Hockey, the construction of the new War Museum, Vinterfestuken, and around ten other cultural and sports activities. We’ve also supported the film ‘The Battle of Narvik.’ We take social responsibility,” says Jan Moström.

New facilities

The transition to sponge iron will require massive investments, such as new production facilities to refine iron ore into carbon dioxide-free sponge iron.
“We’re currently working hard to develop the technology. We’ve reached a point where we’re preparing the first demonstration plant with our partners. To convert our entire production, we’ll need to build many such new facilities. One of the cities where investing in a facility might be relevant is Narvik,” says Jan Moström.

Prerequisites are essential

However, for this to be viable, several fundamental prerequisites must be in place for investing billions of SEK in production facilities for sponge iron or other innovative manufacturing processes evaluated in Narvik.
“Firstly, we must ensure we have land to build on. Secondly, access to electricity is crucial. Thirdly, we need the necessary permits required by relevant authorities. We want to secure areas for both port expansion and for significant investments in production facilities related to the transition to sponge iron or our new products, such as phosphorus and rare earth metals, which we’re currently venturing into,” says Jan Moström.