ArcelorMittal targets 2050 global carbon neutrality

ArcelorMittal has announced a new target to make all its global operations carbon neutral by 2050. This builds on its existing target to cut its European units’ emissions by -30% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050.

In a note sent to Kallanish the company highlights that it is currently pushing forward the use of the hydrogen-direct reduced iron route to produce steel. It is also looking at a “smart carbon” approach in which blast furnaces produce carbon neutral steel through the use of circular carbon and carbon capture technologies.

“We are working on various pilot technologies which have excellent potential,” says ArcelorMittal Europe chief executive Aditya Mittal. “In Hamburg, where we own and operate Europe’s only DRI-EAF facility, we will test not only the ability of hydrogen to reduce the iron ore and form DRI, but also then test that carbon-free DRI in the EAF in the actual steelmaking process.”

“Hydrogen has a lot of potential but given the significant transition cost, we also believe in working on solutions for the traditional integrated route,” he continues. “This essentially follows the bio-energy, carbon capture and utilisation and storage route, which as stressed by both the IPCC and the IEA will be critical to achieving net zero by 2050.”

ArcelorMittal says it believes the “smart carbon” route can deliver results sooner, to limit CO2 emissions already by 2030. Industrial scale production from the hydrogen-DRI route, though, is unlikely to be significant before 2030 due to the current high costs.

Support from authorities globally will be critical to achieving the 2050 goal, the firm says. “We intend to actively engage with governments to chart a way forward that enables the steel industry to make meaningful progress through carefully designed policy that protects against carbon leakage,” Mittal concludes.