ArcelorMittal has today (July 13) revealed that its Sestao plant in Spain is set to become one of the world’s first full-scale zero carbon-emissions steel plants following the use of green hydrogen.
This is with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Spanish Government that will see an investment of €1bn ($1.2bn) in the construction of a green hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) plant at its plant in Gijón, as well as a new hybrid electric arc furnace (EAF).
By 2025, the Sestao plant, which manufactures a range of flat steel products for the automotive and construction sectors and general industry, is expected to produce 1.6 million tonnes of zero carbon emissions steel.
Central to this development will be the construction of a 2.3 million-tonne green hydrogen DRI unit in Gijón with around 1 million tonnes of DRI to be transported to Sestao and used as a feedstock for its two EAFs.
The national and the Basque government’s support in this project is crucial given the significant cost associated with the transition to carbon-neutral steelmaking.
As well as this, it will enable ArcelorMittal to have access to green hydrogen supplied through a consortium of companies that will cooperate in the construction of the infrastructure required in order to produce hydrogen in the Iberian Peninsula.
This will be achieved through solar-powered electrolysis and to transport it directly through a network of pipelines.
The initiative involves the construction of multiple large-scale solar farms, with hydrogen produced in situ and with the corresponding impact in terms of employment.
Looking further ahead, the company has also committed to achieving net zero at the Sestao plant as soon as possible.
Aditya Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, said, “It is widely understood that for the world to achieve net-zero by 2050, faster progress over the next decade is essential.
“This is a project that will require the support of many different partners to succeed; the plan hinges on the supply of affordable, mass-scale hydrogen, access to sustainable finance and a supportive legal framework that allows us to be competitive globally.
“ArcelorMittal plans to switch Sestao to renewable electricity. This, together with the green DRI and hydrogen feeding the burners, will result in the Sestao plant achieving zero carbon-emissions. We are also working to reduce Scope 3 emissions to zero.
“As a large emitter, the steel industry can make a vital contribution to achieving net zero by 2050. This project demonstrates what is achievable.”