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ArcelorMittal: billion-euro green steel project in Flanders

Of all ArcelorMittal plants worldwide, few perform at a higher level than the one in Ghent (Flanders). The Ghent site has an annual production capacity of 5.5 million tons per year and will be the location for a major investment of more than EUR 1 billion towards the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Announcement billion-euro green steel investment ArcelorMittal in Flanders

Sustainable investment for the history books

ArcelorMittal signed a declaration of intent with both the federal government of Belgium and the government of Flanders for the investment of EUR 1 billion for the production of green steel. Limiting CO2 emissions to a strict minimum is part of the objective to become CO2 neutral by 2050. The investment is aimed at the further development of new decarbonization technologies, and will be one for the history books in Flanders.

Direct reduced iron production

The two blast furnaces at ArcelorMittal’s Ghent site will be replaced by a direct reduced iron (DRI) production facility, which will provide 2.5 million tons of the material to the two electric furnaces. According to Geert van Poelvoorde, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, the new equipment will reduce CO2 emissions by 70%.

“If we make the shift in time from gas to renewable hydrogen, we will be able to approximate carbon neutrality.”
Geert van Poelvoorde, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe

Joint venture

With their choice for DRI production, ArcelorMittal continues along the ‘smart carbon’ route. In addition to the EUR 95 million provided by the federal government for a pipeline network for green hydrogen, the government of Flanders is also making major contributions to the project.

Both ArcelorMittal and the government of Flanders have committed to a capital increase, and have invested EUR 700 million via the joint venture Finocas.

Minister-President of Flanders Jan Jambon clarifies the collaboration: “It concerns a loan: the sum needs to be refunded to the joint venture. We have a 50% share in Finocas. In that way, we have guarantees and co-determination in the investment destinations.” He goes on to indicate the importance of the operation for Flanders: “ArcelorMittal is an important economic player with 5,000 employees in Ghent producing more than 5.5 million tons of steel, mostly exported to the rest of Europe.”

Learn more about environmental tech and sustainability initiatives in Flanders.

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Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
8 December 2021

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