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Mississippi selected as one of two first of their kind ‘green steal’ facilities

The HYBRIT direct reduction pilot plant, Luleå, Sweden (Photo from SSAB / Hybrit 2022)

  • The facility will be located in Perry County, generating an estimated 6,000 construction jobs and 540 permanent jobs.

Mississippi is getting one of the first two of their kind hydrogen-ready iron-making facilities, the Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations has announced.

The $1 billion investment is being made in to two facilities – one in Perry County, Mississippi, and the other in Middletown, Ohio. The federal cost share for the Mississippi project is up to $500 million.

Swedish green steel leader SSAB will build the first commercial-scale facility in the world using the HYBRIT®, fossil-free Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) technology with 100% hydrogen in Perry County.

The company says in January 2022, SSAB’s Board of Directors made a policy decision to transform the production system in Sweden and Finland and make it largely carbon dioxide-free. In 2021, SSAB started to produce and deliver smaller volumes of fossil-free steel through the HYBRIT pilot plant in northern Sweden. In 2023, SSAB introduced SSAB Zero, a carbon dioxide-free steel based on recycled scrap and using fossil-free energy.

“We are pleased to have our project selected by the DOE for negotiations to accelerate decarbonization of the iron and steel sector. We see a great interest in sustainable products from the market and this project offers a critical opportunity to solidify a first-mover advantage for the U.S. industry,” says Chuck Schmitt, President of SSAB Americas, in a statement.

The company says this initiative will enable SSAB to expand its sustainable domestic supply chain for steel products and also to advance the U.S. renewable energy transition objectives in response to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Department of Energy says this project aims to generate an estimated 6,000 construction jobs and 540 permanent jobs.

SSAB plans to engage the Perry County Small Business Development Center to solicit and support vendors, contractors, and sub-contractors for the project and subsequent facility operations.

Additionally, SSAB plans to partner with CERM Legacy Foundation to provide STEM-focused summer camp scholarships for qualifying high school students in underrepresented communities, assist curriculum development, and interact with students including offering field trips to the Perry County facility. 

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