This Morning in Metals: SSAB touts world’s first ‘fossil-free’ steel

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This morning in metals news: Sweden’s SSAB has hailed the delivery this week of its first shipment of fossil-free steel; copper prices have been sliding; and, lastly, electricity demand soared last week.

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SSAB ships ‘fossil-free’ steel

SSAB logo

Postmodern Studio/Adobe Stock

Swedish steelmaker SSAB has delivered its first shipment of fossil-free steel this week.

“SSAB has now produced the world’s first fossil-free steel and delivered it to a customer,” the firm said Wednesday. “The trial delivery is an important step on the way to a completely fossil-free value chain for iron- and steelmaking and a milestone in the HYBRIT partnership between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall.”

As nations around the world institute carbon emissions targets, steelmaking is among the heavily polluting industries that must reduce its carbon footprint.

As such, this week’s delivery of what it calls the world’s first fossil-free steel marks a significant milestone, SSAB said.

“The first fossil-free steel in the world is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, it represents proof that it’s possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry. We hope that this will inspire others to also want to speed up the green transition,” SSAB President and CEO Martin Lindqvist said.

Copper price slides

Despite a number of supply-side scares — as MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns explained yesterday — the copper price has been sliding.

The LME three-month copper price closed Wednesday at $9,168 per metric ton and is down 1.41% from the previous month.

The price has cooled significantly since reaching an all-time high on May 10 of over $10,700 per metric ton.

Electricity surge

Amid high temperatures around the country, electricity demand surged last week.

Electricity demand reached a high of 720 gigawatthours on Aug. 12 for the hour ending 5 p.m. EDT. That day, most of the U.S. recorded a daily high temperature above 90°F, the Energy Information Administration reported.

“Our Hourly Electric Grid Monitor shows that hourly electricity demand in the Lower 48 states reached 720 gigawatthours (GWh) for the hour ending 5:00 p.m. eastern daylight time (EDT) on that day, which is the highest reported value for a single hour since balancing authorities (BAs) began reporting hourly electricity demand to us in July 2015,” the EIA reported. “The previous hourly high was 718 GWh reported for the hour ending 6:00 p.m. EDT on July 20, 2017.”

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