Comments concerning SSAB’s decision to invest in Luleå

April 2, 2024

SSAB today announced its decision to proceed with plans to build a new electric arc furnace and minimill in Luleå.

“The decision by our partner in Hybrit and largest customer, SSAB, to invest in Luleå bodes well for our planned transition to production of fossil-free sponge iron in Gällivare. This increases the level of assurance with respect to LKAB’s future investment decision for the Hybrit demonstration plant, which is the first step in the successive transition we are planning,” says Jan Moström, LKAB’s President and CEO.

LKAB’s and SSAB’s operations have long been integrated and the transition of our companies must go hand in hand. LKAB is now working intensively with the permitting process for the Malmberget mine in Gällivare, which will also include the Hybrit demonstration plant for production of sponge iron (DRI/HBI) for SSAB’s new plants.

“Our plan, together with SSAB, is to build a competitive value chain for fossil-free steel, whereby we will supply SSAB with fossil-free sponge iron for the production of the fossil-free steel they will deliver to the market. Together, we have the possibility to eliminate10% of Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 while at the same time building competitive advantage for Swedish industry,” says Jan Moström.

According to LKAB’s transition plan for Malmberget/Gällivare, after the Hybrit demonstration plant, which has capacity for 1.35 million tonnes per year, is commissioned and its performance has been verified in stage 2, another direct reduction plant with Hybrit technology will be built around 2030, so as to further increase deliveries of fossil-free sponge iron.

Subsequently, the objective is to successively ramp up production of fossil-free sponge iron in Malmberget/Gällivare during the early 2030s to a total of 5.4 million tonnes per year, principally intended for delivery to SSAB’s Nordic steel plants.

The first Hybrit demonstration plant will require 5 TWh of fossil-free electricity for production of green hydrogen. A successive expansion of sponge iron production in Malmberget/Gällivare to 5.4 million tonnes per year will demand about 20 TWh.

The rate at which LKAB will be able to maintain expansion will be contingent upon effective permitting processes and continued major expansion of fossil-free power production to secure access to electricity and competitive prices.

“The transition in Sweden is still hindered by time-consuming and unforeseeable permitting processes. We have already been forced to postpone scheduling for the Hybrit demonstration plant to late 2027 and there is a great risk of a delay well into 2028,” says Jan Moström.

Contact: Niklas Johansson, Senior Vice President Communication and Climate LKAB. Tel: +46 (0)10-144 52 19. E-mail:

LKAB is an international mining and minerals group that offers sustainable iron ore, minerals and special products. We are committed to developing carbon-free processes and products by 2045, leading the transformation of the iron and steel industry. Since 1890 we have developed through unique innovations and technological solutions and are driven forward by almost 5,200 employees in 12 countries. In 2023, the LKAB group had sales of about SEK 43 billion.