A Four Billion Euro Investment Is Planned for Inkoo, Finland

January 3, 2023
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Press release from Business Finland

The Norwegian company Blastr Green Steel (Blastr) plans to establish a factory producing green steel and an integrated hydrogen production facility in Inkoo. Blastr has entered into a letter of intent with Fortum for the exclusive use of the industrial area located in Joddböle, Inkoo. The investment value of the project is approximately four billion euros and it will employ up to 1,200 people during the operational phase. Production is planned to start at the end of 2026.

Green steel is a critical raw material in the construction of future renewable energy infrastructure and technology solutions, such as wind turbines, in the construction and automotive industries, and in the manufacture of consumer products. Its demand is expected to grow to 50 million tons in Europe alone by 2030, which corresponds to a third of the current steel demand.

“Finland is an ideal place for our project. Finland has an ambitious low-carbon goal, green industry supporting and predictable operating conditions, fossil-free energy and a highly educated workforce. Inkoo was selected as our location due to its existing infrastructure and available clean electricity. Its ice-free deep harbor enables low-carbon transport all year round and access to nearby European markets”, says Hans Fredrik Wittusen, CEO of Blastr Green Steel.

THE BLASTR PROJECT IS ONE OF FINLAND’S LARGEST INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENTS

“I am very pleased that the decision on the location of the project, which has been worked on for a long time, has now been confirmed. Blastr’s decision to locate in Inkoo is proof of the competitiveness of Finnish industry and infrastructure. Finland is an excellent place for carbon-neutral industry and low-carbon steel production: We have a strong and reliable electricity grid, good conditions for emission-free energy production and efficient logistics. The project will further improve our competitiveness, strengthen our skills and create plenty of work and well-being. It also supports the climate and carbon neutrality goals of both Finland and the EU”, says Minister of Economy Mika Lintilä.

The factory producing low-carbon steel together with the integrated hydrogen production facility form one of the largest industrial investments planned in Finland so far.

“The Blastr project is one of Finland’s largest industrial projects and potential employers. It is also significant for European industry as an enabler of the green transition. Blastr’s arrival in Finland is the result of Nordic cooperation and further strengthens it. At the same time, the project will speed up the development of innovations related to the green transition and other investments”, says Markku Kivistö, the Cleantech Industry branch manager of Invest in Finland, which is part of Business Finland.

BLASTR PLANS TO CUT 95 PERCENT OF THE CO₂ EMISSIONS OF ITS FINAL PRODUCTS

The steel industry produces about eight percent of the world’s CO₂ emissions, which is due to the high consumption of fossil energy used to manufacture steel using conventional methods. Today, one manufactured ton of steel produces 1.9 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Blastr replaces coke and coal with hydrogen in the chemical reduction step and thus reduces the carbon footprint in the entire value chain. The goal is that 95 percent less emissions are generated compared to the conventional steel manufacturing process.

The Inkoo factory is scheduled to produce two and a half million tons of high-quality hot- and cold-rolled green steel per year.

– We are committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the steel industry, as it is one of the world’s biggest emitters. With the green steel produced in Inkoo, we intend to reduce CO₂ emissions by 4.6 million tons per year, which corresponds to the annual emissions of all passenger cars in Finland. We focus on systematically reducing the total carbon footprint in our value chain to reduce waste and develop recyclable solutions. Our goal is also to secure a significant part of our electricity needs from the wind farms we own directly or indirectly. These investments and partnerships promote the production of clean energy in Finland. We believe that our project will bring positive effects to the entire region. We intend to conduct an active dialogue and cooperate closely with the local community and other stakeholders,

“We are proud that Blastr has chosen Inkoo as its location. The project has a huge impact on Inkoo’s social structure due to our small size. It promotes the development and investments of the municipality’s infrastructure and services, thereby benefiting the vitality and recognition of the entire region. For our part, we will do everything we can to ensure that the Blastr project is realized and that we can meet these needs”, says Inkoo’s municipal manager Robert Nyman.

MORE INFORMATION FOR THE MEDIA:

Markku Kivistö , Head of Industry, Cleantech, Invest in, Business Finland
+358 50 55 77 968, markku.kivisto (at) businessfinland.fi

Heli Hemgård , communications manager, Business Finland
+358 40 901 5219, heli.hemgard (at) businessfinland.fi

General media inquiries related to the Blastr Green Steel project:
Minna Sundelin, communications consultant, Fama Consulting
+358 40 582 2750, Minna (at) fama.fi

Hans Fredrik Wittusen , CEO, Blastr Green Steel
+47 90 18 09 44, hfw (at) blastr.no

Robert Nyman , municipal manager, Inkoo municipality
+358 40 149 3762, robert.nyman (at) inkoo.fi

Invest in Finland helps foreign companies find business opportunities in Finland, produces information about Finland as an investment destination, and develops and coordinates national investment acquisition work, actively networking with regional and international actors. In addition, Invest in Finland collects and maintains information about foreign-owned companies in Finland. Invest in Finland operates as part of Business Finland. www.investinfinland.fi

Business Finland is a Finnish public operator that offers innovation financing and internationalization services and promotes tourism and investments in Finland. 760 experts work in the organization in approximately 40 locations around the world and 16 locations in Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network. www.businessfinland.fi

Blastr Green Steel focuses on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the steel value chain by developing local, sustainable and scalable value chains for steel production. The company plans to cut 95 percent of the CO₂ emissions of its end products compared to conventional methods by utilizing local materials and fossil-free energy and by applying the circular economy principle throughout its value chain. Blastr plans to establish a pellet factory in Norway and a green steel factory and an integrated hydrogen production facility in Finland. The company is expected to grow into one of the largest industrial startups in the Nordic countries. Founded in 2021, Blastr is part of the Nordic Vanir Green Industries investment company. www.blastr.no

Vanir Green Industries (VGI) is a Nordic company focused on business building and investments. It builds and scales leading, sustainable and profitable companies that help accelerate the energy transition. VGI was founded by Tore Ivar Slettemoen, who also founded the NYSE-listed company Freyr Batterier. In addition to Blastr, VGI’s portfolio includes Removr, which develops carbon dioxide capture and storage solutions, Freija, which develops technology for the production of green methanol, and Njordr, which develops onshore and offshore wind power projects. Njordri’s subsidiary Nordi develops renewable energy projects in Finland. www.vaniras.no

The municipality of Inkoo is located in Uusimaa, 55 km west of Helsinki, along good transport links. The bilingual municipality has approximately 5,400 inhabitants. The level of education and employment of the population of Inko is good. According to Finnish entrepreneurs, the municipality is very entrepreneur-friendly. Due to its location and beautiful nature, Inkoo is also a very popular leisure municipality, where a significant number of leisure apartments are located. www.inkoo.fi


Originally published on 3 January.

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