ArcelorMittal signs letter of intent with the governments of Belgium and Flanders, supporting €1.1 billion investment in decarbonisation technologies at its flagship Gent plant.
ArcelorMittal Belgium will reduce CO2 emissions by 3.9 million tonnes per year by 2030, by building a 2.5 million-tonne direct reduced iron (DRI) plant and two electric furnaces at its Gent site, to operate alongside its state-of-the-art blast furnace that is ready to 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 tonnes 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.
Approval from the European Commission for the funding support will also be required.
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