Air Liquide and ArcelorMittal have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to contribute significantly to the decarbonization of the Dunkirk industrial basin. The project will reduce yearly CO2 emissions from ArcelorMittal’s steel-making facilities in Dunkirk by 2.85Mt by 2030. Both companies have jointly applied for large projects funding under the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) scheme for hydrogen. Funding from European and/or French schemes supporting decarbonization is key to the implementation of the project, says ArcelorMittal.

The world's biggest steelmaker is ready to implement what it describes as 'an innovative production unit' on its Dunkirk site, combining two steel production technologies – a direct reduced iron (DRI) unit, and a submerged arc furnace – in dimensions never seen before. As a low-carbon technology, the DRI and submerged arc furnace unit will enable the production of steel with lower CO2 emissions. This initiative was the subject of a preliminary study announced by ArcelorMittal in October last year. It comes in addition to initiatives already implemented by ArcelorMittal on its Dunkirk site to lower its CO2 emissions.

Air Liquide will support this strategic initiative through the massive supply of low-carbon hydrogen and the implementation of CO2 capture technologies in Dunkirk, one of Air Liquide's historical industrial basins in France. The Air Liquide group has developed a unique expertise both for hydrogen all along the value chain, from production and storage to distribution, as well as CO2 capture technologies. Leveraging this know-how and in line with its Climate objectives, Air Liquide is committed to developing sustainable solutions supporting its customers in the steel industry to reduce carbon emissions.

Air Liquide and ArcelorMittal's partnership is a first step towards the creation of an ecosystem at the forefront of low-carbon hydrogen and CO2capture solutions that will be a source of competitiveness and attractiveness for various players in the Dunkirk industrial and port basin.

François Jackow, executive vice-president of Air Liquide and a member of the executive committee supervising Europe Industries activities, commented: "Decarbonizing the industry is at the heart of Air Liquide’s strategy and we are committed to accompanying our customers with a wide range of innovative solutions. The Group will contribute its unique expertise along the entire hydrogen supply chain developed over the last 50 years and its mastery of CO2 capture technologies. The time to act is now, and Air Liquide is pleased to support ArcelorMittal in this project aiming to decarbonize a major industrial basin."

Geert van Poelvoorde, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, said: "This project represents a major technological breakthrough and confirms ArcelorMittal’s willingness to profoundly and sustainably transform our production technologies, in line with our objectives to reduce our CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We count on the strong support of the French and European authorities in order to decarbonize the steel industry and are hopeful that this project will receive the support it needs to deliver large-scale CO2 emissions savings. The partnership with Air Liquide will enable us to further accelerate the decarbonization of our steel production and contribute to the creation of a low carbon industrial and port basin."