ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, has been granted a loan of EUR 75 million from the European Investment Bank, supported by the European Commission.
The loan will be used for the construction of two ground-breaking projects at ArcelorMittal Ghent, Belgium, to considerably reduce carbon emissions by converting waste and by-products into valuable new products, helping to develop low-carbon steelmaking technologies, in line with the EU’s climate objectives.
The project revolves around Steelanol, a EUR 165m industrial-scale demonstration plant that will capture waste gases from the blast furnace and biologically convert them into recycled-carbonethanol, the first commercial product of ArcelorMittal’s Carbalyst® family of recycled carbon chemicals. The ethanol produced can be blended for use as a liquid fuel, claims ArcelorMittal.
Once complete, the plant is expected to produce up to 80 million litres of recycled-carbon ethanol annually.
The technology was developed by LanzaTech, with whom ArcelorMittal has entered a long-term partnership, together with Primetals and E4tech.
According to ArcelorMittal, the new installation will create up to 500 construction jobs over the next two years and 20 to 30 new permanent direct jobs. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
Another aspect of the project is Torero, a EUR 50m large-scale demonstration plant to convert waste wood into bio-coal, partially replacing the coal currently injected into the blast furnace.
In the early stage, the Torero plant will be able to convert up to 60kt of waste wood into around 40kt of bio-coal every year. This volume will be doubled in a second stage of the project, after the start of the first Torero reactor. The new installation will create around 70 external jobs and create around 10 new permanent direct jobs for the operation of this installation. The plant, which is being developed in partnership with Torr-Coal, Renewi, Joanneum Research Centre, Graz University and Chalmers Technical University, is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.
EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle commented: “Even in the current difficult times, Europe keeps its ambitious climate targets and the EIB, the EU climate bank, is committed to continuing to be a key partner. In particular in the steel industry, it means finding new ways to power machines and processes that are essential for reducing carbon emissions. Thanks to a strong partnership with the European Commission, the EIB is very pleased to support the Steelanol and Torero projects in their efforts to work on more climate friendly and competitive processes.”
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “This EU-backed loan will enable us to demonstrate that European steelmaking plants can be competitive while reducing carbon emissions and help us attain our climate goals. More than this, if we invest in European research, education and innovation we can demonstrate the global leadership that can secure and strengthen these industries and the people and communities they support for future generations.”