ArcelorMittal, SigmaRoc launch venture to set up net-zero lime producer

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal and quarried materials group SigmaRoc have formed a new joint venture to produce net-zero lime, the companies said Sept. 12.

The new company — in which each founder will own a 47.5% stake — will aim to produce 900,000 mt/year of a high-quality lime, with permitting approval expected by the end of 2023 and commissioning in 2025.

Lime is a key purifying additive used in steel production as well in other industrial applications.

The site will be located close to Dunkirk’s harbor in north France and ArcelorMittal’s steelworks, which produces flat products and will be the new company’s main consumer, with the joint venture partners due to sign long-term supply and offtake agreements.

In order to produce lime free of CO2 emissions, the new company will reuse heat recovered from ArcelorMittal’s plant and use biofuels to replace natural gas in the production process.

“We are securing our supply of high-quality lime, a key element in our current and our future steelmaking processes and together with SigmaRoc, we will work to achieve net-zero lime production processes, in line with our CO2 reduction targets,” ArcelorMittal France CEO Matthieu Jehl said.

ArcelorMittal aims to reduce its CO2 emissions in Europe by 35% by 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality in 2050.

The agreement also represents an important step towards SigmaRoc’s company policy of reaching net-zero emissions by 2040, SigmaRoc CEO Max Vermorken said.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur760/mt ($762.74/mt) ex-works Ruhr Sept. 9, down 18% since the start of 2022.

— Annalisa Villa