ArcelorMittal outlines decarbonisation pathway for European steelmaking business, calls for government support
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Combustion Industry News Editor
ArcelorMittal, Europe’s largest steelmaker, has estimated that the process of decarbonising its operations by 2050 will cost between €15-40 billion ($US17-45 billion), calling for public funding and other policy support in order to achieve the goal. The latter support would ideally (according to ArcelorMittal) be in the form of a carbon border tax to level the playing field for European steelmaking against imports into the bloc, in effect forcing competitors from outside the EU to include a price for carbon into their products. This would create an interesting international dynamic, in that it would sharpen the focus on the carbon intensity of production outside the EU, and probably gradually prompt technological upgrades in the competing countries, though in the intervening time European steelmakers would have a chance to strengthen relationships with clients. ArcelorMittal is clear that it has a technological roadmap to achieve decarbonisation, with what it calls a ‘smart carbon’ option and a hydrogen-fuelled direct reduction iron (DRI) ore option. Both options will be used to some extent, with the smart carbon option employing biomass, ‘clean electricity’ and carbon capture and storage, and the hydrogen DRI route – currently seen as more expensive – using green or blue hydrogen. ArcelorMittal is aiming for a 30% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030, and does not think it can be higher because of a lack of cheap green or blue hydrogen. These pathways suggest the future is not particularly bright for metallurgical coal in Europe.