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EUR 4 billion seed for sustainable steel planted in Finland

Green steel can be used to develop renewable energy infrastructure such as wind turbines.

Credits: : Adobe

Blastr Green Steel has announced plans to establish a four-billion-euro green steel plant with an integrated hydrogen production facility in the Finnish town of Inkoo.

The Norwegian company has signed a letter of intent with Finland's Fortum, giving it exclusive rights to utilise the site of the energy company’s dismantled coal-fired power plant in the area. Inkoo is located 55 kilometres west of the capital city, Helsinki. 

The four-billion-euro mill would represent one of the largest ever industrial investments in Finland.

Once operational, the steel plant is to produce two and a half million tonnes of hot and cold-rolled green steel annually. Also known as decarbonised steel, green steel is steel manufactured without the use of fossil fuels. It can be used to develop renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind turbines, and utilised in sectors such as construction, automotive and consumer goods.

The Inkoo plant seeks to meet the growing demand in Europe for decarbonised steel, which is expected to reach 50 million tonnes by 2030. Alongside its lofty production goals, the proposed plant is to contribute greatly to the climate and carbon neutrality goals of Finland and the EU.

The steel plant is to produce two and a half million tonnes of hot and cold-rolled green steel per year.

Adobe

“[Finland] has an ambitious low-carbon target, supportive and predictable operating conditions for the green industry, fossil-free energy, and a highly qualified workforce,” said Blastr Green Steel CEO Hans Fredrik Wittusen. “Inkoo was selected as our location due to its high-quality infrastructure and access to clean power. In addition, the ice-free deep-sea harbour enables efficient, low-carbon logistics all year round and close access to the European market.”

The mitigation of environmental impact is of pressing concern for the steel industry, as it currently produces eight per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions. This figure is attributed to the large amount of fossil fuels used to manufacture steel through conventional methods. Coupled with its pelletising plant in Norway, Blastr Green Steel's Inkoo plant aims to cut the CO2 emissions of its end products by 95 per cent. To achieve this, the company has pledged to replace coke and coal with self-produced hydrogen in the chemical reduction phase at the plant. Additionally, it intends to lessen its carbon footprint throughout the value chain.

“With the green steel produced in Inkoo, we aim to reduce carbon emissions by 4.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year compared to conventional methods, corresponding to the amount of emissions created by all passenger cars in Finland annually,” Wittusen continued.

The ice-free deep-sea harbour affords Blastr Green Steel access to the European market.

City of Inkoo

The company also seeks to create a positive knock-on effect with its plant for local energy production.

“Our ambition is to secure a significant share of our power needs from directly or indirectly owned wind parks, contributing through own investments and partnerships to advance clean energy production in Finland,” he added.

The next steps for Blastr include carrying out the necessary preliminary studies, plans and environmental impact assessments needed to advance the project. Production at the plant is currently expected to commence by the end of 2026 and eventually create 1 200 jobs.

By: James O’Sullivan
10.01.2023