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ArcelorMittal gets €75m EIB loan to scale up ‘breakthrough technology’ to reduce carbon emissions

ArcelorMittal has been granted a €75m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of two projects at its Ghent plant in Belgium.

The projects aim to reduce carbon emissions by converting waste and waste by-products into valuable new products, and helping to develop low-carbon steelmaking technologies in line with the EU’s climate objectives.

One of the projects is known as Steelanol, a €165m industrial scale demonstration plant that will capture waste gases from the blast furnace and biologically convert them into recycled-carbonethanol, the first commercial product of ArcelorMittal’s Carbalyst family of recycled carbon chemicals.

The ethanol produced can be blended for use as a liquid fuel. The plant is expected to be completed in 2022, and will produce up to 80 million litres of recycled carbon ethanol a year. The technology was developed by LanzaTech, with whom ArcelorMittal has entered a long-term partnership, together with Primetals and E4tech.

The second project is named Torero, and is a 50-million-euro large scale demonstration plant to convert waste wood into bio-coal, partially replacing the coal currently injected into the blast furnace. In the early stage, the Torero plant will be able to convert up to 60,000 tonnes of waste wood into around 40,000 tonnes of bio-coal every year. This volume will be doubled in a second stage of the project, after the start of the first Torero reactor. The initial phase is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

The Steelanol and Torero projects have also received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements totalling €22 million.

The EU has ambitious plans to make industry more sustainable, under its so called European Green Deal.

“Even in the current difficult times, Europe keeps its ambitious climate targets and the EIB, the EU climate bank, is committed to continuing to be a key partner,” said EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle. “In particular in the steel industry, it means finding new ways to power machines and processes that are essential for reducing carbon emissions.”

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “This EU backed loan will enable us to demonstrate that European steelmaking plants can be competitive while reducing carbon emissions and help us attain our climate goals. More than this, if we invest in European research, education and innovation we can demonstrate the global leadership that can secure and strengthen these industries and the people and communities they support for future generations.”

Geert Van Poelvoorde, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe of Flat Products, said: “To date we have committed more than €250 million to developing and testing technology that will help make steelmaking carbon neutral, leveraging our R&D facilities around the world.

“These two projects are our first large-scale implementations of new breakthrough solutions, as part of our commitment to reduce carbon emissions and transform steel production. With the EIB and European Commission’s support, we can scale up technologies and transition steel to carbon neutrality, and thereby play a significant role in helping Europe achieve its green ambitions.”

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO LanzaTech said: “The European Commission and the EIB continue to play a key
role in enabling a new carbon economy for Europe by supporting innovative projects. Chemicals and liquid
fuels, especially in the aviation sector, still need a source of carbon, while power generation can and should
be fully decarbonized. Carbon recycling gives us a choice as to where the carbon in our products comes
from: fresh fossil or reused carbon emissions. Our groundbreaking partnership with ArcelorMittal highlights
their continued leadership in helping to create a low carbon economy in Europe.”

If you were interested in this story, you may also be interested in the ones below.

Read: 5 Minutes With… Carl Wolf, vice president, Europe, of LanzaTech.

Read: EIB updates ‘Circular Economy Guide’

Read: European Commission takes aim at ‘greenwashing’ in new circular economy action plan

Read: European Commission unveils proposal for EU’s ‘first-ever’ climate law

Read: European Green Deal: Bioplastics to play a crucial role in making the deal become reality.

Read: Bioeconomy policy monitor

Read: Bioplastics to ‘play key role’ in implementation of circular economy and EU environmental directives.

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