ArcelorMittal, One of the world’s biggest steelmakers, has become an anchor partner in Breakthrough Energy’s Catalyst programme. The company has committed to an equity investment of $100 million over the next five years.

Breakthrough Energy, founded by Bill Gates, is committed to scaling the technologies the world needs to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The organisation’s efforts include investment vehicles, philanthropic programmes, policy advocacy, and other initiatives, including Catalyst (a new model for how companies, governments and private philanthropy can finance, produce and ensure widespread adoption of next-generation clean technologies).

“The Catalyst programme is innovative and necessary. It brings together public and private finance with the objective of fast-tracking the deployment of projects, which can deliver significant carbon reduction. For ArcelorMittal and the steel industry this kind of initiative is critically important.”

Aditya Mittal, CEO, ArcelorMittal

The programme will initially focus on four decarbonisation technologies: direct air capture (DAC); green hydrogen; long-duration energy storage (LDS); and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

ArcelorMittal’s investment will be made through its XCarb™ innovation fund, which was launched earlier this year. The company anticipates investing up to $100 million annually through the fund in companies developing technologies with the potential to support and accelerate the transition to zero-carbon emissions steelmaking. To date, ArcelorMittal has invested $10 million in Heliogen, a renewable energy company which focuses on unlocking the power of sunlight to replace fossil fuels, and $25 million in Form Energy, which is working on the development of its breakthrough energy storage technology.

“Through Catalyst, leaders from across the private and public sectors are coming together to focus on supporting technologies that are vital to the world reaching net-zero emissions but are currently too expensive to be adopted at scale."

Bill Gates, Founder, Breakthrough Energy

ArcelorMittal recently published its second group climate action report in which it announced a 2030 global CO2e intensity reduction target of 25% and increased its European 2030 CO2e intensity reduction target to 35%. In September last year, ArcelorMittal announced its ambition to reach net zero by 2050.

The steel industry knows how to decarbonise – essentially what is missing is the availability of clean energy at competitive prices that provides the foundation for us to really accelerate. That’s why, after discussing the purpose of Catalyst with Bill, we were very happy to join as an anchor partner. "

Aditya Mittal, CEO, ArcelorMittal

The second group climate report outlined the five key levers – steelmaking transformation, energy transformation, increased use of scrap, sourcing clean electricity and offsetting residual emissions – identified as the stepping stones to achieving net zero by 2050. It also detailed several of the projects the company is undertaking to reach its 2030 reduction target. These include plans to create the world’s first zero carbon emissions steel plant in Sestao, Spain and convert its Canadian flat steel operations to DRI-EAF steelmaking through a $1.8 billion Canadian dollar investment which will reduce CO2 emissions by 60%.