New DRI and EAF installations at ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton, Ontario will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 60%, claims ArcelorMittal.
The steel giant has confirmed its plan for a CAD$1.8 billion investment in decarbonisation technologies with the Government of Ontario and claims that the investment will reduce annual CO2 emissions at the plant by approximately 3Mt, which represents approximately 60% of emissions.
The Hamilton plant will transition away from traditional blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace steelmaking and switch to the Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) – Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) production route, which carries a significantly lower carbon footprint.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2028, although ArcelorMittal is looking to accelerate this timeline.
According to ArcelorMittal, the new manufacturing processes contribute to a considerable reduction of CO2 emissions and deliver other positive environmental impacts including the elimination of emissions and flaring from coke and iron making operations.
The investment was contingent on support from the governments of Canada and Ontario. In July 2021 the Government of Canada announced that it will invest CAD$400 million in the project and now the Government of Ontario has committed to investing CAD$500 million, which secures project funding and firms up the investment, claims the steelmaker.
“From day one, our government’s plan has been to unleash Ontario’s economic potential by reducing the cost of doing business in Ontario by nearly $7 billion a year."Vic Fedeli, Minster of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade.
“From day one, our government’s plan has been to unleash Ontario’s economic potential by reducing the cost of doing business in Ontario by nearly $7 billion a year," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "This once-in-a-generation investment to transform the province into a world-leading producer of green steel is a major step forward as we strive for a full economic recovery and transform our auto supply chains to build the car of the future – right here in Ontario,” he added.
The steelmaker announced the news on 15 February at an event in the company's Dofasco’s plant in Hamilton, which was attended by ArcelorMittal North America CEO John Brett, ArcelorMittal Dofasco president and CEO Ron Bedard, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, Minister of Energy Todd Smith and MPP Donna Skelly.
At the heart of the plan is a 2.5Mt capacity DRI facility and an EAF capable of producing 2.4Mt of high-quality steel through its existing secondary metallurgy and secondary casting activities. Modification of the existing EAF facility and continuous casters will align productivity, quality and energy capabilities between all assets in the new footprint.
“Reducing our CO2 emissions intensity worldwide by 25% by 2030 is an ambitious target for a steel and mining company; but we believe it is achievable.”John Brett, ArcelorMittal North America CEO.
Speaking at the plant on 15 February, Arcelor Mittal's North America CEO John Brett said: “Reducing our CO2 emissions intensity worldwide by 25% by 2030 is an ambitious target for a steel and mining company; but we believe it is achievable and that it is our responsibility to invent or innovate the processes and technologies that will enable us to reach that goal. As part of that, we understand that in the coming years, the assets used to make steel will undergo a transformation on a scale not seen for many decades.”
Also at the plant in Hamilton, ArcelorMittal Dofasco's president and CEO Ron Bedard commented: “This is the most significant construction project ever undertaken at Dofasco. And the most important achievement in the project timeline will be that everyone working on site is working safely and returning home to their family unharmed.
“All options for the newest, most advanced technology that achieves maximum carbon reduction for steelmaking, enhanced product capability and quality, and advanced manufacturing employment opportunities were explored. Extensive benchmarking and modelling were also completed in preparing the ultimate plan for the sustainability of the environment, the company, employees, customers, and the community.”
ArcelorMittal claims that the project will contribute to the sustainability of well-paying skilled positions in advanced manufacturing and is also expected to support as many as 2,500 jobs during the engineering and construction phases. It will also support ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s customers' decarbonisation ambitions while further enhancing the plant’s capability to support the most demanding product segments including automotive exposed, advanced high strength steels, and consumer packing.
The company believes that its new production route for ArcelorMittal Dofasco will provide a technically advanced manufacturing environment for operations, maintenance, and technology staff to work in, with improved health and safety. New positions, training, and development will be provided for employees moving from existing business units to new assets, with approximately 160,000 training hours required to transition the workforce to the new footprint.
In addition to Canada, Arcelor Mittal has also announced investments in decarbonisation technologies in Belgium, France and Spain. Combined investment for the four projects totals US$5.6 billion, with anticipated carbon emissions reduction totalling 19.5Mt, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 4,240,858 cars being driven for a year. These projects sit at the heart of ArcelorMittal's target to reduce its CO2e emissions intensity by 25% by 2030 group-wide, and in Europe by 35% by 2030.