By: Chandrashekar Bhat
ARCELORMITTAL’S Spanish arm is set to receive a multi-million aid to partially decarbonise its steel-making facility in Gijón.
The European Commission (EC) said it has approved a €460-million (£405m) grant by Spain to support the construction of a renewable hydrogen-based direct reduced iron plant.
Together with a new electric arc furnace, the plant will substitute the current blast furnace and it will be ultimately operated with renewable hydrogen and syngas produced from waste and metallurgical gases, the executive body of the European Union said.
“It will contribute to the greening of a very energy-intensive sector,” the EC’s executive president in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager said.
ArcelorMittal currently operates two blast furnaces in Gijón in north-western Spain, producing liquid hot metal from a mixture of iron ore, coke and limestone.
According to the plan, the new plant will be operational by the end of 2025 and it is expected to produce 2.3 million tonnes of low-carbon direct reduced iron per year.
In line with the EU’s decarbonisation efforts, ArcelorMittal has committed to sharing the technical know-how gained through the project with other steelmakers in Europe.
The Luxembourg-headquartered company has an ambitious target to reduce its net carbon emission to zero by 2050.
Earlier this month, the steel giant reported a 38 per cent drop in profit at $9.3 billion (£7.71bn) last year, impacted by lower demand and disruptions in its Ukrainian factory.
However, the company expects the demand to recover this year.