ArcelorMittal accelerates its decarbonization with a €1.7 billion investment program in France, supported by the French government

Published: 7 Feb 2022
Author: Julia Mitic
Type: Member Spotlight

Visiting the ArcelorMittal site in Dunkirk on 4 February 2022, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced support from the French Government for ArcelorMittal’s decarbonization program in France, which involves a €1.7 billion investment in its Fos-sur-Mer and Dunkirk sites in France. This investment will enable a profound transformation of steelmaking in the country and a total reduction of close to 40% or 7.8 million tonnes per year in ArcelorMittal’s CO2 emissions in France by 2030. This transformation will represent a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing industry in France and put the country’s steelmaking industry on a path aligned with the Paris Agreement targets.

The transformation of steelmaking operations will generate positive and sustainable dynamics for employment and industrial activity in France, especially in the Dunkirk and Fos-sur-Mer areas.

ArcelorMittal will implement €1.7 billion of investments by 2030 to accelerate the decarbonization of its steelmaking sites in Fos-sur-Mer and Dunkirk while maintaining equivalent production capacities:

  • In Fos-sur-Mer, ArcelorMittal will build an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). This new unit will complement the ladle furnace announced last March and supported by France’s recovery plan, ‘France Relance.’ Together, these investments will turn Fos-sur-Mer into a reference site for the production of low carbon, circular steel, made from recycled steel;
  • In Dunkirk, ArcelorMittal will build a 2.5 million tonne Direct Reduction of Iron (DRI) unit to transform iron ore using hydrogen instead of coal. This DRI will be coupled with an innovative electric furnace and completed by an additional Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Other investments are already underway to continue to increase the proportion of scrap steel used.

The new industrial facilities will be operational starting in 2027 and will gradually replace three out of five of ArcelorMittal’s blast furnaces in France by 2030 (two out of three in Dunkirk and one out of two in Fos).

Eric Niedziela, Chairman of ArcelorMittal France and Vice President Climate Action ArcelorMittal Europe, commented:

“ArcelorMittal is honored that the French State supports our projects. We are proud to have this unique opportunity to contribute to the objectives of the France 2030 plan and to maintain a strong manufacturing industry in France, serving European markets. ArcelorMittal’s management team and its 15,500 employees in France are mobilized to succeed in this new industrial revolution and we will be happy to welcome new talents willing to participate in this extraordinary adventure.”

Yves Koeberlé, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, added:

“As a leader in steelmaking, ArcelorMittal is committed to decarbonizing its plants in Europe to serve our industrial customers – automotive, packaging, construction, transport but also solar and wind energy and future networks for hydrogen and CO2 capture. We are grateful for this support from the French state. It will enable a major transformation of our sites in Fos-sur-Mer and Dunkirk, which together account for over one-third of ArcelorMittal’s flat steel production in Europe.”

Matthieu Jehl, CEO of ArcelorMittal France, said:

“This support makes possible the extremely high investments we need to make to decarbonize steelmaking on our Dunkirk site, Europe’s largest steel-producing site. We will therefore continue transforming our sites in France to provide our customers with low-carbon steel.”

Bruno Ribo, CEO of ArcelorMittal Méditerranée, said:

“Our Fos-sur-Mer site will undergo a first-of-a-kind transformation to decarbonize. Our teams are already implementing a first investment – our ladle furnace – which will increase our production of low carbon steel. We are ready to continue.”

ArcelorMittal’s French operations have already started working on the second step in their decarbonization program. It will include the technologies implemented during the first step, along with carbon capture and storage or utilization (CCU/S) technologies, assuming the technology matures and regulation ensures it economic viability. This second step will enable ArcelorMittal’s French operations to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The partnership between ArcelorMittal and the French government for the projects is subject to EU approval, which is anticipated by the second quarter of this year, as well as the availability of economically viable energy infrastructure and supply.

To read the full press release, please click here.


About the company’s approach to decarbonization

Decarbonizing ArcelorMittal’s operations in France: three ways to carbon neutrality

ArcelorMittal plays its part in the fight against climate change and has set ambitious objectives: a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions in Europe and a -25% reduction globally by 2030; and carbon neutrality by 2050.

To do this, ArcelorMittal will completely change the way it produces steel by:

  • Increasing the recycling of steel: one kilo of steel produced by ArcelorMittal in France will soon contain up to 25% recycled steel
  • Developing innovative DRI to make steel without coal, with hydrogen
  • Capturing residual CO2 for storage or usage (CCU/S).

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