Alfa Laval Signs Deal to Use Fossil-Free Steel in Heat Exchangers

A plate of SSAB's HYBRIT steel (SSAB)

Published Sep 26, 2022 7:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

Alfa Laval has decided to work with Swedish steelmaker SSAB to build the world's first plate heat exchanger manufactured with fossil-free steel. 

SSAB's new HYBRIT steelmaking process involves using hydrogen for direct reduction of iron ore rather than traditional blast furnace processing. If the hydrogen comes from "green" sources - as SSAB plans - the process results in sponge iron with no CO2  emissions along the way. The company plans to have its first demonstration facility in Gällivare, Sweden up and running by 2026. 

Globally, steelmaking accounts for about 7 percent of all carbon emissions, and its share in the total lifecycle emissions of shipyards and marine suppliers - which use large quantities of steel - is considerably higher.
Alfa Laval has signed an agreement with SSAB to collaborate on the development and commercialization of the world’s first plate heat exchanger to be made using fossil-free steel. The goal is to have the first unit made with hydrogen-reduced steel ready for 2023. 

Alfa Laval says that the deal is a part of its goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 – the same time frame set by IMO for a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions from shipping. The company makes a larger range of plate heat exchangers for the maritime industry than any other supplier, so the deal could have wide applicability. 

“Our marine plate heat exchangers are already key to decarbonizing on board, thanks to their superior level of energy efficiency,” says Peter Nielsen, President, Alfa Laval Marine Separation & Heat Transfer Equipment. “Through our collaboration with SSAB, we will minimize their total carbon footprint. Manufactured with fossil-free steel, plate heat exchangers will be as smart in production as they are in operation.”
Separately, Cargotec and SSAB have also agreed to work on the introduction of fossil-free steel to the cargo handling industry. Last year, the two firms signed a letter of intent to develop the use of SSAB’s fossil-free steel in Cargotec’s cargo handling equipment.