ArcelorMittal studies DRI production in France

ArcelorMittal is also considering decarbonising its French facilities by using the direct reduced iron route, new chief executive Aditya Mittal during a virtual event on Wednesday. The group said earlier this month it plans to build DRI plants in Germany.

“With natural gas DRI steelmaking, your carbon footprint is much lower,” Mittal commented at the event attended by Kallanish. “You do have a cost saving relative to the emission which is significant. At this point in time, we are looking at various DRI projects both in Germany and in France where we can feed DRI into our existing installations, reducing the carbon footprint … We do believe that those projects should be economically viable.”

The project feasibility will also depend on how much government funding the group can obtain. “We do believe there is an economic case for installing DRI based facilities in our existing locations,” Mittal added.

The company is working on both innovative DRI routes and the “Smart Carbon” route to decarbonise its steelmaking. These technologies, however, are in the process of development. “If there are technology breakthroughs in the Smart Carbon route then perhaps the discussion will shift and we will realise that we can do much more on the Smart Carbon route, but where we stand today, we are investing in both routes,” Mittal explained. “At this point in time it is too early to call which route will dominate the decarbonisation process of steelmaking.”

In France ArcelorMittal is working with Air Liquide to develop a DRI and hydrogen connected carbon capture and storage facility in Dunkirk, Mittal added.

ArcelorMittal Germany intends to build a large-scale industrial DRI plant in Bremen and what it calls an innovative DRI pilot plant in Eisenhüttenstadt, in combination with electric arc furnaces. Using green hydrogen, a capacity of up to 3.5 million tonnes/year of steel will then be produced with significantly fewer CO2 emissions (see Kallanish 5 March).

Natalia Capra France