The Land and Environmental Court has given H2 Green Steel the go-ahead to begin preparations for the construction of the green steel plant at Boden Industrial Park. Here’s a summary of what that means.
The verdict, delivered on the morning of 1 July, establishes that H2 Green Steel AB is authorized to carry out the construction work needed to establish and build the planned steelworks in the Svartbyn area in Boden.
H2GS has also been granted a species and biotope protection exemption, permission to divert Lillbäcken and permission to divert groundwater from soil and rock cutting.
But the ruling also requires the company to take various measures to protect people and nature from being disturbed or harmed.
– It is inevitable that the construction of a large steelworks will have an impact on the natural environment and that species present in the area will be affected. Such a large operation will also have an impact on local residents both during construction and operation. The fact that the company has been able to show that they can and should take various protective measures to avoid excessive disturbance is an important factor that allows them to be granted the application for a building permit,” says Katarina Brodin, Chief Counselor.
– The court has, among other things, ordered conditions for dust and noise during the construction phase and that the company must compensate for the natural values that are destroyed, adds Lena Nilsson, who is a technically competent judge in the case.
Cooperation with the Armed Forces
Another question that has been at issue in the case is whether the activities can be built and operated without excessive impact on the interests of the military. In this part, the permit has a condition to ensure that no damage occurs. The condition obliges the company to cooperate with the Swedish Armed Forces and to take such protective measures and precautions as may be required to prevent damage to the the military.
– H2GS has also been granted permission to use the permit even if the ruling is appealed, which means that they can start work immediately, says Technical Advisor Per Lagervall.
The next step in the procedure is for the court to examine the authorization to operate the steelworks and the conditions for this. This is expected to take place in the second half of the year.
H2GS takes action
For H2 Green Steel, the ruling means that they can start the preparatory ground work during the summer. Dialogue with local residents will continue in the near future and the company has announced that it will establish communication channels to keep residents informed of what is happening.
Among other things, a meeting place will open next week in central Boden, where interested parties will have an opportunity to ask questions to representatives from H2 Green Steel.
Roads to and on the Boden Industrial Park will be built and reinforced. The company will put fencing around the construction area and take soundproofing measures. Preparing the land for a construction office and preparing the site for an observation tower.
In addition, the land process between the Municipality of Boden and H2 Green Steel regarding the designated land area continues. Which is key for both parties.
The development plan for Boden Industrial Park is out for review and the so-called infrastructure corridor past southern Svartbyn is also expected to go out for review shortly. The detail development plans do not affect H2 Green Steel’s forthcoming ground works linked to the positive building permit.
– Much work remains to be done, but I am proud of what we in the municipality of Boden have achieved so far and made possible to ensure the progress of this particular project. Now the pressure will increase considerably and we are looking forward to an exciting autumn,” says Mats Berg, municipal manager and head of business.