It was the next generation of Boden residents who broke ground on the historic Boden Industrial Park.
– It is for them we are building this,” says Henrik Henriksson, CEO of H2 Green Steel.
The green steel plant in Boden is one of the largest industrial projects in Sweden’s history and at H2 Green Steel this is an investment for the future. Not because the first delivery is expected three years ahead – but since the need to produce modern steel with a significantly lower carbon footprint than is currently the case.
Therefore it seemed natural to Henrik Henriksson, CEO of H2 Green Steel, that it was the children of company employees and close partners who would break the ceremonial ground.
– We see this as a small family event where we get the chance to celebrate together with the municipality and other partners who have made it possible for us to get the construction underway in record time. It is absolutely essential that we do so too or our planet will burn up. The steel industry accounts for almost ten percent of the global carbon emissions and we can’t wait any longer, for the sake of our children. So it seemed only natural that the children should be involved in the groundbreaking ceremony. It is for their sake that we are building the steelwork in Boden,” says Henrik Henriksson.
One of these parents was Cecilia Kvibacke, Development and Planning Officer at the Municipality of Boden.
She is one of many municipal employees who have put in countless hours of work to meet H2GS demands to make it possible for the construction to start this fall.
– Of course I feel proud when I think about how much time has been spent on various projects related to this and that one of my sons gets to be part of the ground-breaking ceremony. I like to joke about having three children. Two boys and this is my third,” she says and pointing out the future industrial area.
On 1 July, H2 Green Steel was granted permission to start the land preparation activities required for the construction of the steel mill in North Svartbyn. This includes the construction of roads on the site and the movement of soil.
Later this year, the Land and Environmental Court will review the entire operation and decide whether the company can start building the large-scale steel plant and the associated hydrogen plant.
For the municipality, the democratic part of the detail developing plan process is ongoing. The comments received during the review period will now be compiled and responded to.
Henrik Henriksson also emphasises the good dialogue between the company and residents in the nearby area.
– We feel that there is a great understanding of why we are building the steelworks and the vast majority also think it is good. But we also realize that we won’t be able to complete the construction without the people living in the area feeling the impact. That’s why it’s important that we have a good dialogue with residents throughout the process,” says Henrik Henriksson.
Tuesday’s groundbreaking will make 23 August 2022 a historic date in Boden and Norrbotten, and according to the company director, the event has great significance.
– For the past 18 months there has been a lot of talk about what we are going to do, but it’s happening now and it’s for real. There are many other activities related to what we do that can now start. Everything from building housing, building roads to the hospitality industry. This is a strong signal to the entrepreneurs, a strong signal to the residents of the municipality that now it starts. And it’s important for the municipality, but it’s also very important for Sweden. This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever,” he says.