ArcelorMittal to invest $1 billion to upgrade steel output in Ukraine

ArcelorMittal will invest $1 billion during the next three years to make steel production at its Ukrainian subsidiary environmentally friendly, the company said April 14.

The announcement came shortly after a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and ArcelorMittal board chairman Lakshmi Mittal.

ArcelorMittal, the largest foreign investor in the Ukrainian economy, owns the country’s largest steel producer, known as ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih.

“The ArcelorMittal corporation will invest $1 billion in environmental modernization and production development in Kryviy Rih,” the company said after the meeting. “The ‘steel billion’ is aimed at reducing production impact on environment, steady enterprise development, reuse of resources and processing of industrial waste.”

The modernization program will run during the next three years and will be completed by the end of 2023, the Zelenskiy said in a separate statement.

“Investments in the Ukrainian economy and the environment are a positive signal for all investors,” Zelenskiy said in the statement, adding that Ukrainian authorities will provide “comprehensive support” to investors.

ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih reduced output of steel by 12.1% on the year to 4.7 million mt in 2020, down from 5.3 million mt produced in 2019, according to the company, which said 2020 was an “unprecedentedly difficult year” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the company’s extraction of iron ore rose 4.5% on the year to 25.6 million mt in 2020, up from 24.5 million mt in 2019. Iron ore concentrate output increased 8.3% to 10.7 million mt, while production of sinter fell 7.9% to 9 million mt.

Production of coke fell 5.3% to 2.6 million mt from 2.8 million mt, the company said.

ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih, based in the Dnipropetrovsk region, is the largest steel and mining company of Ukraine, producing about 20% of national steel output.

— Alexander Bor