ArcelorMittal has signed an MoU with the Spanish Government to reduce carbon emissions at the company’s Asturias’ plant in Gijón by approximately 50%.
A total of $1.17 billion will be invested towards the same and will help reduce CO2 emissions at ArcelorMittal’s Spanish operations by up to 4.8 million tonnes within the next five years.
At the heart of the plan is a 2.3 million-tonne green hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) unit, complemented by a 1.1 million-tonne hybrid electric arc furnace (EAF).
According to ArcelorMittal, this will help start the Gijón plant’s transition away from the blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace steelmaking production route to the DRI-EAF production route.
The new DRI – the first of its kind in Spain – and the EAF – which carries a significantly lower carbon footprint – will commence production before the end of 2025.
ArcelorMittal plans to eventually use green hydrogen to reduce the iron ore in the DRI, with the EAF powered by renewable electricity. All this translates to more energy savings and enhanced steel production.
The Spanish government’s support is crucial as it will enable ArcelorMittal to have access to green hydrogen supplied through a consortium of companies.
All in all, this could lead to the construction of the infrastructure required in order to produce hydrogen in the Iberian Peninsula using solar‑powered electrolysis and to transport it directly through a network of pipelines.
The initiative further involves the construction of multiple large-scale solar farms, with hydrogen produced in situ.
The Gijón DRI will also feed the ArcelorMittal’s Sestao plant, situated approximately 250 km from Gijón, where production is already entirely from the electric arc furnace route.
This means that by 2025, ArcelorMittal Sestao will produce 1.6 million tonnes of steel and be the world’s first full-scale steel plant to achieve zero carbon-emissions.
Image and content: Bloomberg via FT/ArcelorMittal