ArcelorMittal HQ in Luxembourg City; Credit: ArcelorMittal

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and ArcelorMittal, both headquartered in Luxembourg, have announced €280 million of funding for research and innovation supporting the steel production company's decarbonisation objectives.

The €280 million loan granted to ArcelorMittal by the EIB, and backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, is intended to help fund the group's European research and development (R&D) programme between 2021 and 2023.

This major funding initiative aims to support ArcelorMittal's research activities and the associated capital expenditure in the field of environmental, climate and energy projects. It is also intended to help the group to reach its climate action goals and thus reduce the environmental footprint of its manufacturing facilities, steel products and technological solutions. ArcelorMittal Europe has committed to reducing carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions intensity by 35% by 2030, with ArcelorMittal Group having set a 2050 net-zero emissions target.

This partnership between the EIB and ArcelorMittal is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. In general, at least 40% of EFSI infrastructure and innovation projects aim to contribute to climate action in line with the Paris Agreement.

New products, process improvements and technical solutions are expected to bring significant positive environmental results in terms of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The R&D activities supported through the new investment will be carried out primarily in ArcelorMittal's existing R&D facilities in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain.

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni commented: "This agreement shows that innovation is key to companies' efforts to contribute to Europe's climate commitments while staying competitive. I am looking forward to seeing many other companies follow suit". 

Greg Ludkovsky, Vice-President of ArcelorMittal and Head of Research and Development, added: "The role of our organisation, Global R&D, is to create the technological basis for ensuring ArcelorMittal's long-term viability as the world's leading steel and mining company. This funding will help Global R&D to further enable ArcelorMittal's ambitions to reduce its environmental footprint in terms of its operations and its products. We will be able to expand our work to develop environmentally sustainable, high-added value, cost-effective and disruptive products and manufacturing processes".

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle emphasised the fact that this agreement "will support a major European player in the steel industry with an in-depth focus on higher value-added steel products". Fellow EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters continued: "The steel sector is vital for the European economy. More than other sectors, it is faced with the need to constantly reinvent itself and make its production processes more efficient and less of a burden on the environment. This requires constant investment in innovation. I trust that through our support we can support ArcelorMittal in its operations, helping to increase the competitiveness of the company and thereby contributing to the EU's leadership as provider of high-tech steel worldwide".

In 2017, ArcelorMittal Group and the EIB signed a financing agreement for €350 million, supported by the Investment Plan for Europe, to help to fund the group's European R&D programme between 2017 and 2020. In 2020, the EIB granted a €75 million loan to ArcelorMittal supported by InnovFin Energy Demonstration projects and financed under Horizon 2020 and the NER 300 funding programme of the European Commission. The funding supported ArcelorMittal Group's R&D activities and associated capital expenditure in various fields, including innovative casting technologies and the circular economy and CO2 reduction.