Opportunity of a lifetime!
Contemplating retirement in 2021, metallurgic expert Sten Ångström received a call from a former colleague who convinced him to join Blastr Green Steel. A decision that is turning into the career highpoint of his illustrious life in the steel industry.
“What is happening now, that we are actually building new steel plants in the Nordics, that is fantastic!”
Sten entered the industry in 1980 in Luleå, Sweden, and from that time on the steel industry was mostly about cost effectiveness.
“I have never done anything else than iron and steel, and in principle the industry has been centered around reducing the number of employees, with fewer and more efficient plants,” reflects Sten.
So, when Mikael Lindvall, Chief Technology Officer at Blastr, called Sten and told him the ambitious plan to develop an ultra-low CO2 steel plant in Inkoo, Finland, he did not need much convincing.
“I said yes to the proposition during the call. It is the most exciting thing to have happened throughout my career. The only regrettable thing is that I had to get this old before I get the chance to establish and develop a new steel plant”.
What is it that appeals to you so much about the ultra-low CO2 steel industry?
“There has been quite a prelude to where we are now. At the start of the millennium, there was a large project called ULCOS, which set out to halve emissions by improving the existing industry set-up. But it wasn´t that ambitious. We worked on the part of the project that was about using natural gas from Norway and iron ore from Sweden to reduce emissions. It all looked quite difficult, and we didn´t quite believe the steel industry would be able to attract funding for this. We thought it would have to be Facebook or some company like that. But now we see that it is possible. This has been an uphill struggle for many years, but now it is happening, and it is exceptionally fun to be a part of!
What is your role at Blastr Green Steel?
“I work with the new plant at Inkoo and find the optimal solutions paired with the resources we have available. To create a sensible steel plant, we need the best possible processing equipment. We receive suggestions from suppliers, and then combine what they suggest and what we need to make the right choices. We are blazing new trails here, using large amounts of electricity for steel production, it is new, and it is exciting.
I am not nervous about this. Just looking forward to it. I´m convinced that we have everything in place to succeed. We will have the most modern steel plant based on the best available technologies, and it will be at a perfect location.”
Do you have any advice for anyone pursuing a career within your industry?
“Well, I have a hard time taking advice myself, but for those who want to work with this, I would say ´go for it´. If you want a job in the steel industry, you will find one. Change is coming, and there are highly interesting and exciting jobs to be had. There is a lot more fun working with something that has a future.
Sten Ångström has over 40 years of experience in the steel industry, working in various positions at Swerim (former MEFOS), SSAB, OVAKO, DANIELI, and Primetals (former SIEMENS-VAI). As a metallurgical expert he has focused on steelmaking, R&D, production, project development studies, investment projects, and commissioning.
He holds a MSc in Metallurgical Engineering from KTH Stockholm.