The New Northern Wave of Sustainable Industrialization
Greetings from a sunny north!
This is Samuel writing from EOL Vents headquarters in Kiruna, Sweden. Hope you are all having a good summer so far.
In some of our upcoming posts, we would like to take a look into the future, and let you know about EOL Vent’s work when it comes to sustainability, and our take on the current sustainability megatrend currently sweeping across the world.
There are a number of reasons why I think it makes sense to talk about this right now:
Partly, it’s because energy costs have recently become drastically higher than in a long time in many parts of the world, especially in Europe. Being an industry where energy costs and energy efficiency matters, this affects our mining ventilation customers as well.
Partly, it’s because we have to understand that this global shift towards sustainable business models - with global demands for lower environmental impact - is inevitable. It’s coming. And it will affect all parts of our own business at EOL Vent, as well as our customers businesses, within the near future, as well as long term.
We all have to proactively prepare for it.
And not just for environmental reasons, but for pure business reasons as well: Any actor who truly wants to future-proof their own business, and secure not only a responsible, energy efficient and climate friendly production, but also secure and grow their profits and total market share, has to be proactive about sustainability.
And whenever possible: Take the lead within their branch.
In this first post on sustainability within our industry and our clients’ industries, I would like to start off right at our own geographical doorstep, and give the spotlight to one of our closest mining ventilation clients in our home market who are doing just that – the Swedish mining company LKAB, and their joint project company HYBRIT.
There are remarkable things happening in our part of the world, and LKAB are currently leading what can only be explained as The New Northern Wave of Sustainable Industrialization.
Together with another Northern industry giant, the steel company SSAB, along with the Swedish energy company Vattenfall, LKAB are spearheading the great wave of the new Northern Swedish Industrialization, in creating the world’s first project for carbon free steel production:
HYBRIT, or Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology.
The HYBRIT project started in 2017, with the simple yet huge goal to turn the historically carbon-intensive process of creating steel into a 100 % carbon neutral process, replacing the use of coal - which has been a historical main ingredient in steel making for centuries – with hydrogen gas, which in turn comes from non-fossil energy sources. The only rest product from this process will be water.
This process is already a proven success, piloted in 2021 with good results. And the potential impact of this new invention cannot be overstated:
When fully implemented and scaled up (the aim is to do this by 2035), this new way of making steel could lower the total CO2 emissions of Sweden by 10 %.
That’s not only for the steel sector – that’s counting the emissions for the whole country, since 10 % of Swedish CO2 emissions come from steel and iron industries. And when the time comes to scale this technology globally, the climate impact would be significant – and again, so would the business opportunities.
No doubt, the investment that LKAB and the other involved parts are making in the HYBRIT project is huge, and very long-term – but as we said earlier: At EOL Ventsystem, we are convinced that going sustainable for real with your business model is the only way to future-proof your business. HYBRIT steel will not only see drastically lowered emissions – it will completely change the global steel making business. And projects like this spill over into other industries; we are literally seeing a wave of new sustainable high-tech industries spreading across Northern Sweden.
At EOL Ventsystem, we are proud to work with future-oriented companies like LKAB who are leading the way and setting new green standards for their respective industries, both in their own operations and through projects such as HYBRIT.
And not only are we looking forward to continuing to support LKAB in keeping the ventilation of their expanding mining operations as energy- and resource effective as possible far into the future – we are also looking forward to the day that we can do it using EOL Vent fans built from 100 % carbon free HYBRIT steel.
(In the next post, we will talk a bit more about why mining and all the minerals found in our clients’ mines will be absolutely critical in the switch to a sustainable, high tech and low carbon economy.)
Until next time!
EOL Vent Mining AB