The HYBRIT consortium led by Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall has started operations at what it claims is the world’s first pilot plant dedicated to the production of fossil-free steel.

The plant inaugurated today in Luleå, northern Sweden, will at first produce sponge iron, which Vattenfall says is a decisive step forward toward fossil-free steel production using green hydrogen from renewable energy.

“We stand in front of the biggest technological leap in the steel industry in 1,000 years,” enthusiast Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said.