Towards carbon-neutrality – Metals producers and research organizations to develop solutions for reducing CO2 emissions

Leading metals producers in Finland together with domestic research organizations have launched a large 3-year research project with an aim to develop technologies for CO2 mitigation in metals production. Metals production possesses greatest CO2 potential of all industries in Finland. Business Finland funds the project with almost 10 million Euros. The total budget of the project is 18 million Euros.

The project, Towards Carbon-neutral Metals, TOCANEM, is a significant step towards carbon-neutral metals production. In addition, project contributes to realization of national and EU level low-carbon roadmap.

The project lays the groundwork for the large investments required for carbon-neutral metals production. The aim of the project is to regularise Finland’s position as a forerunner and commercializer of process innovations and process technologies as well as to strengthen knowhow on use of electricity and hydrogen in metals production.

Boliden Harjavalta, Boliden Kokkola, Freeport Cobalt, Fortum, Metso Outotec and Outokumpu are responsible for piloting the processes developed in the project. Kivisampo, Owatec and Sapotech comprise the SME partners. In addition, Metsä Group, Ovako and SSAB are collaborative partners in the project.

The research organizations in the project are Aalto University, LUT University, University of Oulu, Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and Åbo Akademi. The project employs 40 researchers in the participating research organizations. University of Oulu coordinates the project.

“The project leads metals production industry significantly towards the carbon-neutrality target set in Finland and it promotes strategic renewal of the ecosystem.”, says professor and project’s principal investigator Timo Fabritius from University of Oulu.

The project is also part of the strategic research agenda of The Association of Finnish Steel and Metal Producers. In 2019, metals producers employed 15 000 people and the turnover was 11 billion Euros. The share of metal products of Finnish visible exports was 12 percent and the export comprised 80 percent of the gross sales.

“The aim of regulating status as a forerunner in carbon-neutral technologies and products as well as circular economy strengthens Finnish metals producers’ position in global market. It has a positive impact on economic life in Finland and it creates new business and jobs.”, adds Kimmo Järvinen, the CEO of The Association of Finnish Steel and Metal Producers.

Business Finland finds that the project is well in line with its new strategy. R&D investments for new carbon-neutral processes are essential. Process innovation and their successful implementation enable significant CO2 mitigation. The investment on research of carbon-neutral metals production places Finland among the global forerunners in development of new carbon-neutral technologies and products.

“In the long term, sustainable development enables economic growth. It is our task to promote the development of Finnish knowhow which secures the success of our country in the future as well.”, states Nina Kopola, Director General & CEO of Business Finland.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Timo Fabritius, Process Metallurgy Research Unit, University of Oulu,, +358 40 554 6683

Kimmo Järvinen, CEO, The Association of Finnish Steel and Metal Producers,, +358 43 825 7642

Last updated: 17.2.2021