Rio Tinto and H2 Green Steel partner to accelerate the green steel transition

9 August 2023

Rio Tinto and H2 Green Steel, an emerging player in the green steel industry, have entered into a multi-year supply agreement for top-tier direct reduction iron ore pellets sourced from Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) operations. In addition, Rio Tinto will purchase and resell a portion of the surplus low-carbon hot briquetted iron (HBI) generated by H2 Green Steel during the initial phase of its steel production capacity expansion.

The direct reduction pellets from IOC will constitute a significant proportion of the iron ore feedstock for H2 Green Steel’s flagship facility located in Boden, Sweden. This pioneering plant is set to become one of the world's premier large-scale producers of low carbon iron and steel.

Anticipated to commence operations in 2025, the fully integrated and digitally advanced Boden plant will process direct reduction pellets into HBI and further transform them into steel via electric arc furnaces powered by green hydrogen. This transformative site will house one of the globe's largest electrolysis units, dedicated to green hydrogen production.

The steel manufacturing process, pivotal for infrastructure development and achieving net-zero energy transition, presently contributes roughly 8% of worldwide carbon emissions. By harnessing green hydrogen in electric arc furnaces instead of conventional coal-based blast furnaces, potential CO2 emissions reduction could reach an impressive 95%.

Henrik Henriksson, CEO of H2 Green Steel, remarked, "This represents a pivotal achievement for our Boden project. It secures not only a supply of the high-caliber iron ore required for our sustainable steel production, but also establishes a market for a portion of the initial HBI output. Rio Tinto's esteemed reputation in the mining sector underscores its tangible efforts to expedite the decarbonization of the steel industry."

Simon Farry, Head of Steel Decarbonisation at Rio Tinto, emphasized their commitment to collaborating throughout the steel value chain to facilitate the decarbonization of iron and steel manufacturing while mitigating scope 3 emissions. He affirmed that Rio Tinto's provision of premium iron ore pellets will bolster the advancement of H2 Green Steel's initiative, while redistributing their low-carbon HBI will enhance insights into the evolving demands of customers and end-users in the emerging green iron and steel market.