ArcelorMittal bets big on decarbonisation
Steel Insights|October 2021
The Ghent project involves the reduction of CO2 emissions by 3.9 mtpa by 2030, by building a 2.5 million ton DRI plant and two electric furnaces, which will operate alongside its state-of-the-art blast furnace that can take waste wood and plastics as a substitute for fossil carbon.

ArcelorMittal is betting big on decarbonisation of the steel put in investments across several innovative projects spread across continents.

The Lakshmi Mittal-owned global steelmaker has recently signed a letter of intent with the governments of Belgium and the regional government of Flanders, for a €1.1 billion investment in decarbonization technologies at its flagship plant at Ghent located there.

“To tackle the climate crisis, we need ambitious action. European countries are leading the way, with clear targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. It is good to see that sectors with a large footprint are also joining the race by investing in innovation that reduces emissions and, in the long term, achieves carbon neutrality,” Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, said.

“This ambitious project shows that industry is a crucial partner to achieve a climate-neutral society by 2050. It will be one of the largest climate investments in Belgium that will anchor ArcelorMittal in the Ghent region, that guarantee employment and that will provide low carbon and ultimately carbon-neutral steel. Green steel is needed in the switch to 100 percent renewable energy. What is good for the climate is good for the economy and for everyone,” Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister of Energy, said.

Reducing emission with smart DRI technology

The project involves the reduction of CO2 emissions by 3.9 million tons per year by 2030, by building a 2.5 million-ton direct reduced iron (DRI) plant and two electric furnaces, which will operate alongside its state-of-the-art blast furnace that can take waste wood and plastics as a substitute for fossil carbon.

A DRI plant uses natural gas, and potentially hydrogen, instead of coal to reduce iron ore, resulting in a large reduction in CO2 emissions compared with blast furnace ironmaking.

The two electric furnaces will melt the DRI and scrap steel, which will then be transformed in the steel shop into steel slabs and then further processed into finished products.

Once the DRI and electric furnaces are built, there will be a transition period during which production will move gradually from blast furnace A, to the DRI and electric furnaces, after which blast furnace A will be closed as it reaches the end of its life.

“By 2030, this will result in a reduction of around three million tons of CO2 emissions each year. The support of both the national and the Flanders governments in this project is crucial given the significant cost associated with the transition to carbon-neutral steelmaking,” ArcelorMittal said in a release.

ArcelorMittal is in the process of getting approval from the European Commission for funding support.

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