Brazilian miner Vale said on Wednesday it has signed an agreement with Sweden-based H2 Green Steel (H2GS) to study the joint development of industrial hubs in Brazil and North America as part of its decarbonization efforts.
The potential plants would be focused on producing low-carbon products for the steel industry, such as green hydrogen and hot briquetted iron (HBI), said the mining giant, which aims to reach net-zero carbon emissionsby 2050.
The new agreement comes a day after the miner revealed it expects to start building “mega hubs” to produce HBI in the Middle East next year, with the first to go live in 2027.
“This initiative reinforces Vale’s role as an inducer of Brazil’s ‘neo-industrialization’ process,” chief executive Eduardo Bartolomeo said in a statement. “It also marks Vale’s first steps into the green hydrogen market.”
The number of hubs to be built, their location and output capacity will be decided after the studies by the companies, which had previously agreed on a deal for Vale to supply H2GS’s Boden steelmaking plant with iron ore pellets.
“We now want to explore other geographic regions where we can accelerate the decarbonization of the steel value chain,” said H2GS’s executive vice-president for hydrogen businesses, Kajsa Ryttberg-Wallgren.
“Both Brazil and parts of North America have great potential because of their access to renewable energy sources, high quality iron ore and political willingness to support the decarbonization projects,” Ryttberg-Wallgren added.
(By Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Kylie Madry)