Swedish steelmakers embracing new cleaner steelmaking technology are positive that customers will ask for low-emission steel. In fact, greenfield venture H2 Green Steel claims that large portions of its future production are already assigned.

According to H2GS chief technology officer Maria Persson Gulda, the company has already signed contracts to supply over €10 billion ($11 billion) of steel it will produce once commissioned. This form of advance take-or-pay contracts “has never been done in the steel industry,” Gulda said at Steel Times International’s Future Steel Forum in Stockholm on Tuesday.

SSAB cto Martin Pei confirmed his company feels “a very strong customer demand, as we heard from Maria.” For this and other reasons, SSAB has decided to accelerate its transition plan, with 2030 now the target year for completion, rather than 2045.

Asked by an audience member if H2GS’s existing agreements would basically take all its production off the free market, Gulda noted that the agreements stretch over several years. In fact, “there is quite a debate going on in the company, if we should sell more at the moment,” she said at the event attended by Kallanish.

The venture currently operates with some 300 people of 40 nationalities, and will have to ultimately recruit 1,500 workers for industrial production. These would be primarily local staff, but “many of the technical process steps have not been performed in Sweden before”, meaning the company will look for international assistance.

Another question arose on the company’s iron ore supply, and why it is tapping imports from Brazil rather than Sweden’s domestic sources. Gulda replied that negotiations with local miner LKAB are ongoing, but that the agreement with Vale act as insurance in case the talks do not bring results.