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Rio Tinto strikes a deal on green steel initiative

Diversified miner Rio Tinto has partnered with industrial startup H2 Green Steel on a green steel initiative. This partnership is under a multiyear supply agreement for high-grade direct reduction iron-ore pellets from Rio’s Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) operations. Rio will also purchase and on-sell a part of the surplus low-carbon hot briquetted iron (HBI) produced by H2 Green Steel during the ramp-up of its steelmaking capacity.

IOC’s direct reduction pellets will account for a significant part of the iron-ore supply to H2 Green Steel’s flagship plant in Boden, Sweden, which will be one of the world’s first large-scale producers of low-carbon iron and steel.

The fully integrated, digitalised, and circular plant is expected to start operations in 2025, processing direct reduction pellets into HBI and producing steel through electric arc furnaces (EAFs) using green hydrogen. The Boden site will hold one of the world’s largest electrolysis plants for green hydrogen production.

“We are partnering across the steel ecosystem to find better ways to support the decarbonisation of iron and steel making, and to reduce our Scope 3 emissions,” Rio head of steel decarbonisation Simon Farry said.

Steel production currently contributed around 8% of global carbon emissions. By using green hydrogen in EAFs instead of coal in traditional steelmaking with a blast furnace, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to 95%, Rio stated.

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