The Swedish Environmental Court (Markoch miljödomstolen) has given permission for the construction of a new steel complex on the condition that H2 Green Steel take steps to protect the environment and nearby communities, and repair any damage caused.
It is inevitable that the construction of such a large steel plant will impact the natural environment and affect local species," Judge Katarina Brodin said in a press statement. “Such a big business will also affect those who live near the steel plant, both during its construction and during its operation.”
The court ruling noted that the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from global steel production means that the benefits outweigh the potential impact on the local environment.
H2 Green Steel, led by Henrik Henriksson, former chief executive of truck manufacturer Scania, plans to begin production in early 2025, making it the world's first commercial-scale hydrogen steel plant.
The plant will be built in Svartbin, near the town of Boden in Norrbotten, Sweden's northernmost region.
The company has applied to build a plant that can produce 4.2 million tons of sponge iron reduced by hydrogen per year, as well as a hydrogen plant that can produce 280,000 tons of gas.
The court also allowed the company to divert and block the Lillbäcken River and exempted it from certain animal and plant species protection requirements.