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Government takes direct stake in ‘fossil free’ steel firm

SSAB:n Raahen tehtaan masuunit
SSAB’s Raahe plant is Finland’s biggest single source of carbon emissions.

Image: Timo Nykyri / Yle

Finland’s stake in a company pioneering ‘fossil free’ steel production has transferred from the state’s holding company Solidium to direct ownership under the Office of the Prime Minister, because Finland now views the SSAB shares as a strategic asset.

SSAB’s plant in Raahe is currently Finland’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, but the company has said it aims to introduce ‘fossil free’ steel production at the plant in the coming years.

SSAB has tested the new technology in Sweden, with good results. Finland’s target is to become carbon neutral by 2035.

“From a state ownership perspective it is important that Finland’s biggest industrial source of carbon emissions converts operations to be lower carbon,” read a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister. “For that reason the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Employment has now designated the stake as a strategic asset and the shares transferred from Solidium to direct ownership by the state.”

The company’s turnover in 2020 was 6.5 billion euros, and the company employs some 14,000 people. Solidium has been the third largest single shareholder in the firm, with 6.3 percent of the shares and 8 percent of the voting shares.

The company is listed on both the Stockholm and Helsinki stock exchanges.

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