ArcelorMittal Asturias in Spain is to forge ahead with a plan to build a new electric arc furnace (EAF) as part of the company's decarbonization plan for Spain.

The company has signed a contract with Saralle, an industrial engineering company, and the plan is to commence civil works on site in Gijon early in 2024. The work is part of ArcelorMittal Europe's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030.

It is hoped that the new EAF will be operational in the final quarter of 2025, enabling the site to produce low carbon steel for the long products sector, largely rails and wire rod. With a new EAF in place, the site will be highly competitive, in particular for sectors with stringent carbon criteria for public procurement contracts, says ArcelorMittal.

At the moment, a blast furnace is used to make rails and wire rod.

Saralle will also be supplying a de-dusting system and a waste recovery unit in order to maximise energy efficiency in the new EAF.

"This is an important part of the decarbonization programme for the company's steelmaking operations in Spain."

Philippe Meyran, CEO, ArcelorMittal Asturias.

“This is an important part of the decarbonisation programme for the company’s steelmaking operations in Spain. We would, therefore, like to thank all the stakeholders for their ongoing co-operation on this project”, said Philippe Meyran, CEO ArcelorMittal Asturias, at a signing ceremony held with Sarralle, on 23 November 2023.

Elías Domingo, CEO of Sarralle, commented: “This is a very special project for us. It is the first decarbonisation project in Spain, which will be carried out with Spanish technology. It constitutes a very important step for the future of the steel industry in Spain, oriented to very high added value products”.

“This is a very special project for us. It is the first decarbonisation project in Spain, which will be carried out with Spanish technology."

Elías Domingo, CEO of Sarralle

Jordi Torné, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe - Long Products in ArcelorMittal Asturias, commented: ”This project places the long products business in Asturias at the forefront of decarbonisation. The installation of this state-of-the-art technology will allow us to produce high added value rails and wire rods, building a sustainable future for our activity, while operating to the highest safety standards”.

The European Union’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy forecasts that by 2030, both high-speed rail traffic and freight traffic will increase by 50%; by 2050, high-speed rail traffic is expected to have tripled, and freight traffic will have increased by 100%. The new facility in Gijon will be well-placed to support increasing demand for rails, in particular rails made from low carbon-emissions steel, under the EU Green Deal.