LKAB selects ENERGIRON for its demonstration plant in northern Sweden

by David Fleschen

The ENERGIRON® technology, jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli, has been chosen by LKAB, an international mining and minerals group that offers sustainable iron ore, minerals, and special products, for the basic engineering of its 100% hydrogen-based direct reduced iron (DRI) plant in Gällivare, Sweden. This represents a further step in the application of the technology by the group, as ENERGIRON® has already been the key equipment to the full-hydrogen pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden, built by HYBRIT Development AB, a joint venture between LKAB, SSAB, and Vattenfall, and commissioned in 2020.

Results from the HYBRIT pilot plant revealed that the DRI obtained using pure hydrogen as a reducing agent instead of fossil-based reducing gas such as natural gas delivers superior properties and qualities. With a capacity of 1.35 Mtpy of fossil-free DRI, the Gällivare demonstration plant will combine the HYBRIT technology with ENERGIRON® technology merging know-how and experience in DRI plants.

Amongst the characteristics of the new installation, it is notable that an electric process heater – a world first in an industrial DRI plant – will heat the process gas using green electric power. This will reduce carbon emissions down to zero, dramatically increasing the overall energy efficiency of the process. The new DRI plant will use fossil-free electric power from different sources to produce fossil-free sponge iron that will be used by SSAB to make fossil-free steel.

Stefano Maggiolino, Tenova HYL President & CEO, said: “We’re excited to continue our sustainability journey with LKAB in the making of the very first industrial DRI plant that, thanks to our innovative ENERGIRON® technology, will produce fossil-free steel using an electric process gas heater. With our tireless push for innovation, hydrogen-based iron ore reduction at zero emissions has already become an industrial reality.”

The current contract is related to basic engineering services, while future equipment supply and construction are pending waiting for prerequisites like environmental permits and Final Investment Decision (FID).

Source and Photo: Tenova


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