ArcelorMittal France partners with EDF for decarbonisation

ArcelorMittal France has signed a letter of intent with electricity provider EDF for a future offtake agreement, a necessary step for the implementation of the decarbonisation plan at its Dunkirk site in northern France.

“The reform of the electricity market undertaken in France, and the signing of a letter of intent with EDF to reach an agreement for an offtake contract will also allow ArcelorMittal to secure its future electricity supplies in France, a necessary condition for this investment,” the steelmaker says in a note obtained by Kallanish.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has confirmed €1.8 billion ($1.9 billion) in financial support for the company’ decarbonisation and energy transition. The minster reiterated the support during a visit to the Dunkirk plant last week.

In Dunkirk, a 2.5 million tonnes/year capacity direct reduced iron unit and two electric arc furnaces will replace two of the three existing blast furnaces and two of the three basic oxygen furnaces. Natural gas will gradually be phased out as the new equipment will be fed by renewable or low-carbon hydrogen, biogas and electricity.

The plant is boosting steel recycling and CO2 capture technology through a pilot facility. The decarbonisation project will contribute significantly to achieving an emission reduction of 35% by 2030.

ArcelorMittal completed the first phase of the engineering studies in July 2023 and the second phase is underway. “Depending on the results of this second phase, which will define the conditions of viability of the project (industrial device, final budget and schedule), ArcelorMittal will move on to the implementation of the project,” the note states.

Construction is expected to start this year and will be completed by 2026, when the equipment is planned to become operational. The new production units will gradually replace one of the two blast furnaces currently operational at the site.

ArcelorMittal will also install an EAF at its French steelmaking site in Fos-sur-Mer, with the aim of boosting production of greener and lower-CO2 steel. The new equipment will be operational from 2027 and will replace one blast furnace by 2030. At present, ArcelorMittal has two blast furnaces at Fos-sur-Mer.

Natalia Capra France