ArcelorMittal France has been awarded €850 million ($945m) through a French measure approved by the European Commission (EC) to decarbonise the steelmaking process at its French plant in Dunkirk, Kallanish notes.
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. Construction will start this year and will be completed by 2026 when the equipment is planned to become operational.
The funds will be a direct grant paid out in four instalments during the construction period. Once up and running, the equipment will produce 4 million tonnes/year of low-emission steel, resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction of 70mt over the 15-year lifetime of the project.
“ArcelorMittal has committed to actively share the experience and technical know-how gained through the project with industry and academia … France selected ArcelorMittal’s project in the context of an open call in 2020 to form part of an IPCEI on hydrogen,” the EC says in a note.
ArcelorMittal restarted BF no.4 at Dunkirk last month. On 30 March, the spillage of approximately 150 tonnes of incandescent material triggered a fire at the unit. Besides BF no.2, 3 and 4, the site is equipped with a coke oven, two sinter plants, three converters and ladle treatment stations, three continuous casters and a hot strip mill.
“ArcelorMittal salutes the continuous support for the long-term success of the steel industry in France from the French state. ArcelorMittal’s decarbonisation projects in France are expected to reduce CO2 emissions from its steelmaking operations in line with the group’s objectives: a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 in Europe and carbon neutrality in 2050 globally,” a company spokesperson tells Kallanish.
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. The French government will support the overall project with an investment of €1.7 billion.
ArcelorMittal and the French government have signed a strategic partnership for these investments (see Kallanish 7 February 2022).
Natalia Capra France