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German ‘green steel’ plants announced

ArcelorMittal is planning to boost its output of ‘green steel’ with a new direct reduction of iron ore and electric arc furnace (DIR-EAF) facility at its site in Bremen and a DRI pilot plant and EAF in Eisenhüttenstadt.

The company says up to the two sites could by 2030 produce 3.5 million tonnes of steel with significantly lower CO2 emissions. Depending on the hydrogen available, CO2 savings of more than five million tonnes could be possible. The technology conversion requires investments of up to EUR 1.5 billion.

‘With our concept for the transformation of the plants in Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt, we are accelerating the implementation of carbon-neutral steel production,’ says Reiner Blaschek, ceo of ArcelorMittal Flachstahl Deutschland.

‘These projects have the potential to have a significant impact in reducing CO2 emissions in line with the European Union’s climate commitments. We are now asking for the necessary support and access to funding, to make the implementation of our plans happen.’

In Hamburg, the group already operates Europe’s only DRI-EAF plant and the switch to using hydrogen instead of natural gas in the iron ore reduction process is being prepared. The objective is to reach industrial commercial maturity of the technology by 2025, initially producing 100 000 tonnes of sponge iron a year.

ArcelorMittal is planning to gradually adapt production in Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt. This year, two blast furnaces will be converted to inject natural gas, reducing the use of coal in the iron ore reduction process and thereby further reducing CO2 emissions.

In Bremen, ArcelorMittal initially plans to use natural gas for the DRI and later hydrogen from electrolysis. Sponge iron produced there will initially supply the steelworks in Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt, until the regional hydrogen cluster in East Brandenburg can also supply the Eisenhüttenstadt site with sufficient hydrogen.

ArcelorMittal has set itself the goal of reducing emissions by 30% by 2030 in Europe and producing carbon-neutral steel by 2050.

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