SSAB's steel product plant in Borlänge Sweden has introduced natural gas as fuel in one of the reheating furnaces. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is supplied by Skangas to Borlänge with trucks. The natural gas consumption will be 6 to 7 tons per hour.
Switching over to natural gas is part of SSAB's strategy to make the energy system more sustainable, more cost efficient and to spread the risks by using several different types of fuel.
"Actually, we have been interested in natural gas ever since the 1970s, but since there are no natural gas lines in Sweden, the idea has never been realized. In 2002, we wanted to increase our production and decided to decrease our nitrogen oxide emissions by 40%. The light fuel oil that we used included also 4% sulphur that we want to eliminate," says Energy Department Manager Thomas Hirsch of SSAB EMEA AB.
At a conference in Norway, Hirsch saw that LNG is part of an effective logistics chain when gas needs to be transferred outside a pipe grid. In 2010, SSAB started to discuss with suppliers about natural gas deliveries and in 2012 they concluded an agreement with Skangas.
"In my opinion, the project has run fantastically smooth. The project has involved great professionals from our and Skangas' side," says Project Manager Anders Krüger of the Borlänge LNG terminal project.
In Borlänge, the gas is stored in four tanks that hold a total of 500 tonnes, i.e. 1000 cubic metres. In a year, the production consumes approx. 45000 tonnes of natural gas.
The whole terminal, including the tanks, are owned by Skangas. Skangas was also in charge of converting the furnace.
Annually the volume of nitrogen oxide emissions will decrease by 300 tons. Also carbon dioxide emissions will decrease by 40,000 tonnes per year and the current 400-tonne sulphur dioxide emissions will be almost completely eliminated.
Photo: Henrik Hansson