Luxembourg-headquartered steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal announced today plans to produce "green steel" in Europe starting this year.
ArcelorMittal Europe announced details of a CO2 technology strategy that will enable it to offer its first green steel solutions to customers this year (30,000 tonnes). The aim is to scale up this offering in coming years to reach 120,000 tonnes in 2021 and 600,000 tonnes by 2022, deliver its 30% CO2 emissions target by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.
The strategy is centred around two main technology routes, as introduced in the first ArcelorMittal Europe climate action report published earlier this year: the use of hydrogen in DRI-EAF and the blast furnace; and the expansion of its Smart Carbon route, also utilising hydrogen.
Hydrogen plays a central role in the company’s decarbonisation strategy. ArcelorMittal Europe is developing a series of industrial-scale hydrogen projects for use in blast furnace-based steelmaking that will start to deliver substantial CO2 emissions savings even within the next five years, as well as progressing a project to test the ability of hydrogen to reduce iron ore and form DRI on an industrial scale. Ultimately to reach zero, this hydrogen will need to be "green" (produced via electrolysis which is powered by renewable electricity). ArcelorMittal is therefore developing new facilities to produce green hydrogen using electrolysers. Teams at ArcelorMittal Bremen in Germany are working on the first large-scale deployment of this technology which can then be deployed in both the blast furnace and the DRI-EAF route. Previously, this emerging technology has only been tested at small pilot plants in Europe.
The first impact of these decarbonisation efforts means ArcelorMittal Europe will be offering customers green steel products this year, when the first 30,000 tonnes will be ready. A system that quantifies the CO2 emissions savings made thanks to the decarbonisation projects being rolled out by ArcelorMittal Europe has been developed. Customers will be able to buy green steel, based on verified emissions compared with a 2018 baseline.
To fund the capital investment needed for the projects announced today, ArcelorMittal Europe is preparing funding applications to the EU’s Innovation Fund which is designed to support low-carbon investments in the European Union.
Aditya Mittal, President and CEO ArcelorMittal Europe, commented: "Our talented teams across ArcelorMittal Europe are working hard to ensure our CO2 emissions reduction projects deliver results as fast as possible, on an industrial scale. We are focussed on being ready for the hydrogen economy and the exciting opportunities this presents for us as European steelmakers. In parallel we continue to roll out our Smart Carbon technology which we are convinced also offers huge potential given the world will need so-called BECCS technologies (bio-energy, carbon capture and storage) to reach net zero by 2050. Our plans to offer greener and more circular steel will support our customers in their circular economy objectives".