Outokumpu, the global leader in sustainable stainless steel, and Fortum, a leading Nordic clean energy company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the decarbonization of Outokumpu’s steel manufacturing operations with emerging nuclear technology – Small Modular Reactors (SMR). The agreement initiates a long-term process with the aim to access potential construction of a SMR in Finland. In the first phase, the goal is to identify potential business models and technical solutions for further development. Any potential investment decisions will be made at a later stage.
Outokumpu has committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative’s 1.5°C climate target. Maintaining and increasing the share of low-carbon energy is important to achieving the company’s ambitious sustainability goals. Both Outokumpu and Fortum play a key role in ensuring energy efficiency, emission reduction and competitiveness in Finland. One possible option for the location would be Tornio region in Finland, where Outokumpu’s largest mill is situated.
“We are at the forefront of decarbonizing the steel industry. Looking into emerging technologies in our energy supply, is a natural step in our ambition to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition to wind, solar, and hydropower, energy intensive industries and the whole society needs stable and CO2-free electricity generation. Today nuclear power is the only alternative for this. Therefore, we are excited to explore the possibilities offered by small modular reactors together with Fortum, as part of our sustainability journey,” says Heikki Malinen, President and CEO, Outokumpu. “Outokumpu is Finland’s largest electricity buyer. In order to the steel industry to remain competitive in Finland, we need to have a sufficient amount of low-carbon and cost-effective energy,” Malinen continues.
Growth for Nordic industries
In line with its strategy, Fortum wants to drive decarbonisation and growth for Nordic industries by providing clean energy and CO2-free solutions to its customers.
“Decarbonizing heavy industries is a prerequisite for reaching carbon-neutrality in Europe and this requires significant amounts of clean energy. The Nordic power market is extremely competitive when it comes to clean and affordable power, and Fortum is one of the very few European companies that can deliver it reliably, when needed and at scale to our customers already today. In the future, however, more will be needed. So, we are pleased to start collaboration with a steel industry forerunner like Outokumpu to explore the future potential of new nuclear power in the Nordics,” says Markus Rauramo, President and CEO, Fortum.