CO₂ efficiency

SSAB is committed to continuous environmental work aiming at minimizing the adverse environmental impacts from our operations. Our blast furnaces are among the most efficient in the world in terms of CO2 efficiency. Despite this, we are constantly looking for opportunities to improve.

CO2 emissions from steel production

There are two different ways of producing steel. The processes are differentiated according to the raw material used in the process – iron ore-based or scrap-based from recycled steel. Since available scrap today accounts for approximately 30% of the demand for new steel, we are today dependent on both steel produced from scrap and steel made from iron-ore. In 2050, it is estimated scrap-based steel will account for about 50% of demand, which means that 50% of demand will continue to be met by steel made from iron-ore.

Read more about SSAB´s steel production processes

SSAB and CO2 emissions

In 2018, SSAB’s direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were 9.8 million tonnes. Around 90% of SSAB’s total CO2 emissions are generated in iron ore-based steel production at the company’s sites in Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe, and 98% of these CO2 emissions are related to metallurgical processes, i.e. to the use of coke and coal as reducing agents. In 2018, direct emissions from Nordic steel production were 9.0 million tonnes. The greenhouse gases produced in Nordic steel production are within the scope of the European Emissions Trading System. In 2018, direct CO2 emissions from the scrap-based steel production in the US were 0.7 million tonnes.

More information about the production levels can be found in SSABs latest report

SSAB is one of the best in the world in iron-ore based steel making when it comes to CO2 efficiency – 7% better than the European average. The graph below compares SSABs CO2 emissions from the ore-based iron production with the average CO2 emissions of steel producers in other regions.


CO2-efficient steel production

The indexed carbon efficiency in iron-making based on coal consumed 2012
Source: Stahl-Zentrum

In practice this means that if SSABs production will be relocated outside of the Nordics to some other part of the EU 15, the emissions will increase with 600,000 tonnes or equal to 300,000 cars that drive 10,000 km each.


SSAB’s target to reduce CO2 emissions

SSAB has a target to reduce CO2 emissions from its steel production. The target is to achieve a lasting reduction of 300,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions by the end of 2020, compared to the 2014 baseline.

Read more about SSAB´s sustainability strategy and targets


SSAB’s CO2 mix

It is important to separate CO2 emissions from raw material used in the steel-making process with CO2 emissions from fuel used in production, since the possibility to improve CO2 efficiency are different depending on the origin. 90% of SSABs CO2 emissions globally are raw material-based and 10% are fuel-based. In the Nordics the raw material-based emissions are 95% and 5% fuel-based. CO2 emissions from internal transports are below 1% of total emissions.


Iron ore-based CO2 emissions accounts for 90% of SSABs total CO2 emissions

SSAB's blast furnaces are among the most efficient in the world and the potential for further emission reductions is very limited with current technology. There is no technology available today that can replace coal as raw material for steel production, which means that it requires technology breakthroughs to achieve significant emission reductions. Industry-wide co-operation is important for identifying new technical solutions that can further decrease the impacts of steel making processes. In the Nordics, SSAB is collaborating with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Luleå University of Technology, Dalarna University, Swerea, Oulu University, Aalto University, Åbo Akademi Univercity and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. In SSAB Americas, the American Iron and Steel Association is an important partner.

Read more about HYBRIT – Towards fossil-free steel

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