Luleå and the green transition | Polar Jobs

Luleå and the green transition

The city of Luleå offers the environment, resources, networks and infrastructure for carbon-netural production

Malmporten is Sweden’s largest dredging project in modern times. When the project is completed, the Port of Luleå will be able to transport three times as much goods as today, which will be needed to meet the region’s development and industrial growth

What is needed globally is already the reality in Luleå, the largest city in Swedish Lapland: for years, the largest share of electricity has been obtained from renewable sources such as hydro and wind power. This is to be expanded so that the entire industry can produce in a climate-neutral way. The focus here is on environmental and climate compatibility in harmony with economic sustainability. This article gives an overview of the largest projects and companies in the municipality of Luleå.

The center of the green transition is the new Luleå Industrial Park. In addition to Luleå Kommun (local authority), which has developed the industrial park in close co-operation with economy, industry and research, Luleå Energi (energy supply), Luleå Hamn (port), Luleå Business Region (municipal enterprise) and Lumire Luleå Miljöresurs (waste disposal and water supply) are considered partners in the project. Together they form a cluster working for environmentally friendly industrial change through world-leading technological developments.

The following companies and their current projects are helping to achieve the goal of climate-neutral production as quickly as possible.

SSAB's facility.

SSAB’s facility at Svartöstaden

SSAB‘s approximately 1,100 employees are working on fossil-free steel production, as it is currently responsible for no less than 7% of total carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Fossil-free steel production from recycling processes was already achieved in 2023. By 2026, this should apply to all steel produced by SSAB. The goal for 2030 is to eliminate all carbon dioxide emissions from operations. To achieve the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2.8 million tons per year, the revolutionary HYBRIT technology has been developed. Here, coal is replaced by hydrogen in the iron ore reduction process.

llustration of the layout of future circular industrial park for production of critical minerals and phosphorus in Luleå

Jan Moström to the left, and an illustration of the layout of future circular industrial park for production of critical minerals and phosphorus in Luleå to the right.

LKAB extracts mineral fertilisers, rare earths, gypsum and fluorine from mine waste with the aim of improving Europe’s access to key raw materials. Currently, the ReeMAP project extracts phosphorus in quantities equivalent to five times Sweden’s needs, and gypsum to meet the entire needs of the Swedish construction industry. Furthermore, rare earths are extracted, which account for 30% of European demand, and up to 100% of certain rare earth elements. The company’s stated goals are to become a center for the chemical industry in northern Sweden, to set world-leading standards for clean products, energy efficiency and reduced emissions, as well as to attract unique expertise, strengthen the competitive advantage of LKAB and the region, and provide opportunities for new collaboration. The company aims to create 500 new jobs by 2027.

For the development and production of environmentally friendly battery anodes, clean and renewable energies are used in the Talga company. The carbon footprint is kept low through deliveries only within the EU and high technical performance in general. In addition, active efforts are made to achieve a net gain in biodiversity (CLIMB project). Through investments in technologies, remedial actions and research, the impact on nature is to be minimized.

As one of the leading companies in the field of hydrogen, Uniper is an important part of the green transition. The use of hydrogen brings the future without fossil fuels within reach since the use of electricity for cars, bicycles or similar is not possible for heavy means of transport such as ships or aircraft. This is where hydrogen (combined with biogenic carbon dioxide) can help out and be used as an ‘electric fuel’ in combustion engines. Currently, this fuel is mainly used in shipping. In this way, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced there by 100,000 tons per year (shipping is responsible for about 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, which is about the same proportion as aviation).

Fertiberia, the Spanish fertiliser manufacturer, plans to invest €1 billion and to start producing 100 percent green ammonia and fertiliser by 2026. During the construction phase, this will create up to 2,000 jobs, and about 500 after the completion. Ammonia is a versatile product that is easier to transport and store than hydrogen. Ammonia can be used in the energy sector, instead of gas, and to reduce emissions in shipping.

When starting your own business or opening another subsidiary in Luleå, Luleå Business Region can be helpful. This is a municipal company dedicated to promoting a diverse, sustainable and strong business environment. The focus is on supporting initiatives, businesses and forums on a local and regional level by helping investors, visitors, businesses and event organizers. It does not matter what industry or stage of development the company is in. Luleå Business Region assists with access to authorities, networking, product development, financial issues as well as training, development coaching. Within event management, the company helps with finding free capacity for accommodation and facilities, developing marketing materials and applications for meetings, finding organizers for meeting management, ideas and tips for activities in the area and much more.

The green transition is already happening, yet there is always something to do. The city of Luleå offers the perfect environment, resources, networks and infrastructure to successfully produce carbon neutrally. Become a part of the green transition, become a part of the future!

Originally published by Vårt Luleå.

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