Shape Corp. partners on fossil-free steel for automotive applications

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SSAB works with Swedish government-owned iron ore producer LKAB and Stockholm County-based energy company Vattenfall as part of the HYBRIT initiative to develop a value chain for fossil-free iron- and steel production. Courtesy SSAB

Shape Corp. said Tuesday it will be the first tier-one automotive supplier to market with fossil-free steel crash management and body structure systems under a new agreement with SSAB.

Stockholm, Sweden-based SSAB is a producer of advanced high strength steel. Grand Haven-based Shape Corp. said Tuesday, June 21, it inked a partnership with SSAB that entails Shape testing SSAB’s fossil-free steel, which it said is the first steel product made of hydrogen-reduced sponge iron utilizing HYBRIT technology, for use in automotive applications.

Shape Corp. is setting an aggressive goal to offer products made with this material to provide a lightweight, green steel alternative for original equipment manufacturer body structure components in alignment with Shape’s carbon neutrality goals.

“Shape continues to lead the industry with innovative, lightweight solutions for next-generation vehicles. Additionally, we have established a bold sustainability goal to be a carbon-free company by 2035,” said Mark White, president and CEO, Shape Corp.

“Our long-standing partnership with SSAB is built on years of collaboration and mutual respect between our companies. I am extremely excited to partner with SSAB to commercialize their new fossil-free HYBRIT steel technology and to be first to market in crash management and body structure applications for our customers. We see this as a win for our customers, a win for the environment and a win for Shape.”

Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO at SSAB, said Shape is its first partner for fossil-free steel in the U.S., and he looks forward to exploring in partnership with Shape “ways to mitigate climate change.”

“Demand for fossil-free steel is increasing, which is one of the reasons for SSAB to bring forward its green transition with the ambition to largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions around 2030,” he said.

SSAB aims to deliver fossil-free steel to the market at commercial scale in 2026. SSAB works with Swedish government-owned iron ore producer LKAB and Stockholm County-based energy company Vattenfall as part of the HYBRIT initiative to develop a value chain for fossil-free iron- and steel production, replacing the coking coal traditionally used for iron ore-based steelmaking with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. SSAB said this process virtually eliminates carbon dioxide-emissions in steel production.

Shape has pledged to reduce its global carbon emissions 30% by 2030 and to be fully carbon free by 2035. The company aims to be carbon free in its production and will reduce end user carbon emissions through lightweighting of its products.

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