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FAQs: the big questions answered

Fossil-free fuel is on the way! In 2026, SSAB aims to launch its pioneering fossil-free premium grade steel – revolutionizing the industry by implementing a steelmaking process that does not create fossil-fuel CO2 emissions.

1. What is SSAB’s main objective for developing fossil-free steel?

The steel industry is currently one of the highest CO2 emitters, accounting for 7% of all emissions globally. While SSAB is already one of the world’s most CO2 efficient steelmakers, we know that the industry still has a long way to go. Our objective is to lead the steel industry to a decarbonized future.

2. What is fossil-free steel?

Fossil-free means that a product or service has been created without using fossil-fuels or fossil raw materials. Fossil-free steel is made without creating CO2 emissions and by using fossil-free energy sources.

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3. As a customer, what are the advantages and disadvantages of fossil-free steel?

The primary advantage of fossil-free steel is that it is a material that has created zero CO2 emissions from fossil-fuels. The production of fossil-free steel leaves fossil fuels in the ground; this means that you and your end-users become part of a fossil-free value-chain. The only disadvantage of fossil-free steel is that start-up production costs are higher, making it more expensive to produce and so it has a higher cost price.

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4. How do I know if SSAB’s steel is truly fossil-free?

SSAB has invested heavily in fossil-free steel and as part of this, the production process will be documented in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). EPDs are third-party reviewed and follow strict European and international standards.

5. What is green steel?

Green steel does not have an officially recognized definition. The term ‘green steel’ is an unofficial label used when a product has not met pre-approved or defined criteria.

6. Is the iron ore mining process fossil-free?

Yes, all of the iron ore used in SSAB’s fossil-free steel will come from fossil-free mining.

7. Why is steel not made from scrap steel?

In many markets around the world, the recycling rate of steel is above 90%. However, the increasing use of steel means that the available scrap is only able to cover 25% of the global steel demand. In short, the demand for steel exceeds the scrap currently available.

8. What customer products and industries can use fossil-free steel?

Fossil-free steel will have the same properties and quality as its traditionally produced counterpart, so it will perform in the same way in all industrial applications. Fossil-free steel will match the current standards of steel and will be suitable for use just as today’s steel.

9. How much will fossil-free steel cost?

The production cost of fossil-free steel is higher than regular steel, which means it has a higher price. For specific prices, please speak with your SSAB sales contact.

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10. Why will fossil-free steel have a higher price?

Fossil-free steel is a premium product with a higher price than regular fossil-based steel products. The main cost-drivers for fossil-free steel are the investments in production and infrastructure, to switch from coal to fossil-free electricity and hydrogen, from natural gas to biogas, and from iron ore pellets to HYBRIT sponge iron.

11. Why should I buy fossil-free steel?

An investment in fossil-free steel adds value to your business by eliminating the carbon footprint in the steel part of your value chain. Your sales contact can give you more information.

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12. Will SSAB still offer traditional steel in parallel to fossil-free steel?

Traditional steel will be available in parallel to fossil-free steel during the proposed transition period between 2026-2045. The transition period for a specific product will be driven by customer demand.

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13. Which products and dimensions will be available in fossil-free steel?

The first launch of fossil-free products will commence in 2026 and the order of product roll-out will be defined by the requests from our customers. It is SSAB’s ambition to have the full range of our steel grades available in fossil-free steel. Your sales contact will be able to advise more specifically about your business needs.

14. Does fossil-free steel have better properties than other steels?

The quality and properties of fossil-free steel will be the same as SSABs steel of today. The properties of SSAB’s steel are created in the steelmaking, rolling and heat treatment processes, which will remain the same. The only difference in the process is that the energy used will be exclusively fossil-free electricity and other fossil-free fuels.

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15. How is fossil-free steel made?

The first step in making steel is to turn iron ore into iron by removing the oxygen. This has traditionally been done using coal and coke in the blast furnace process. However, this step will now be done using hydrogen gas through the HYBRIT process. Fossil-free electricity will be used to produce hydrogen from water via electrolysis. The byproduct of this process is water, not CO2. The end result of the HYBRIT process is solid iron (sponge iron) which is then melted in an electric arc furnace. Across the entire process, only fossil-free electricity and fuels will be used – resulting in fossil-free steel as an end product.

16. Will all SSAB current sites produce fossil-free steel?

Yes. SSAB has an investment and production plan that will see all of the current sites capable of producing fossil-free steel by 2040 at the latest.

17. What is the timeline for commercial deliveries?

SSAB is on target to deliver the first commercial products in 2026.

18. Can I buy fossil-free steel from other steel producers?

SSAB is currently the only steel producer that has committed to and is investing in fossil-free production. By using HYBRIT fossil-free steel technology and eliminating the carbon footprint from the steel production process, SSAB will leave fossil fuels in the ground.

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19. Will other actors in the steel industry start producing fossil-free steel?

As the innovators of fossil-free steel, SSAB is confident that all steel producers will, in time, replace their fossil-fuel based processes with fossil-free technology.

20. How can I find out more about fossil-free steel?

If you don’t find the information on the SSAB web, please write to us in the contact form. Or contact your SSAB sales contact.

Further reading on fossil-free steel

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Building a sustainable future with fossil-free steel

The global challenge of halting and reversing current rates of climate change is urgent. The steel industry has the potential to play a significant role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions both in the production phase and by supporting current rates of recycling.

steel plates

Five reasons to choose fossil-free steel

Why choose fossil-free steel for your business when the cost price is higher than traditional steel and the bottom line might be impacted? Adding economic and environmental value to your business by investing in steel that has created zero carbon emissions during its production is just one factor; your business investment today is a commitment to improving tomorrow’s environment, for everyone.

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