Jasper Jacobs

ArcelorMittal goes green with a 1.1-billion-euro investment in its Ghent plant

The multinational steel company ArcelorMittal is to invest hundreds of millions of euro in making one of the furnaces at its factory in the East Flemish city of Ghent much more eco-friendly. In a statement of intent signed by the company and the Belgian authorities on Tuesday it was agreed that together they will invest more than 1 billion euro to replace one of the plants two existing blast furnaces with a new electrically powered furnace that will run on hydrogen. 

A direct reduced iron installation will provide the plant’s two furnaces with 2.5 million tonnes of specially adapted iron for the production of steel. In a statement released on Tuesday. 

ArcelorMittal says that its Ghent plant is the “the flag ship of our sustainability strategy”. The replacement of the furnace and the replacement of the plant’s other furnace with a furnace that runs on more environmentally friendly fuel will see CO2 emissions reduced by 3.9 million tonne per annum. This is around 4% of the total carbon emissions of the whole of Flanders.

ArcelorMittal has undertaken to reduce its carbon emissions by 35% by 2035.

Furnace A at the Ghent plant won’t be replaced when it is decommissioned in 2030. Instead, the production process will be changed so that from then only DRI iron will be used in two electrically driven furnaces, both of will be powered by hydrogen. The hydrogen will be produced in an environmentally friendly way as soon as this method becomes commercially available.

ArcelorMittal’s CEO Aditya Mittal told journalists that “This announcement shows that we are taking great steps towards the decarbonisation of our production and that we want to speed up our progress during the coming decade”.

ArcelorMittal produces steel in 17 countries worldwide. 

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