Electrical steels are commonly associated with applications in industrial products and renewable energy generation, but in recent years they have been increasingly utilised in electric vehicles. Like ArcelorMittal’s existing electrical steels production facility at St. Chély d’Apcher in the south-east of France, Mardyck will produce steels for both industry and e-mobility applications.
The Mardyck site is close to an existing steel production mill at Dunkerque (France). ArcelorMittal Dunkerque will provide the hot rolled coils which will be transformed into electrical steels at Mardyck. “Dunkerque and Mardyck are only five-kilometres apart by road, but they are connected by an internal rail line,” notes Cristina de Lucas, CMO for electrical steels at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products.
"The addition of a new electrical steels production facility within ArcelorMittal’s European network will ensure a reliable and continuous supply of electrical steels. We will be able to supply ArcelorMittal customers with our global electrical steels offer from both St. Chély and Mardyck. That makes ArcelorMittal the only steel supplier in Europe with two electrical steel production facilities. Having two mills gives us the option to switch production from one mill to another in the event of an unplanned shutdown at one.”
Cristina de Luca, CMO for electrical steels at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products
Work will start at Mardyck during 2022. “Our plan is to produce the first electrical steels in Mardyck by 2024,” explains Cristina de Lucas. “When fully ramped-up, we expect Mardyck to produce around 200,000 tonnes of electrical steels annually including ArcelorMittal’s iCARe® range for e-mobility applications. This is double the existing capacity at St. Chély and will enable ArcelorMittal to support more customers as Europe transitions to greener mobility solutions.”
For many years, Mardyck has been used as a downstream site for ArcelorMittal Dunkerque, producing hot-dip galvanised material for automotive and tin-coatings for packaging. “The new electrical steels lines will be installed in an existing building which previously housed a production line dedicated to packaging,” says Cristina de Lucas. “Repurposing an existing building and site is the most sustainable way to add extra electrical steel capacity to ArcelorMittal’s offer.”
ArcelorMittal will continue to invest in its existing electrical steel production facility at St. Chély d’Apcher in southern France notes Cristina de Lucas: “Around a decade ago, ArcelorMittal started upgrading the electrical steels facility in St. Chély to prepare the mill for the e-mobility challenge. In total, ArcelorMittal has invested over €120 million to upgrade the facility. Recently that has included adding an annealing-coating line. In 2021, work started on a new line which will allow ArcelorMittal to develop new electrical steels for the automotive industry. That will become fully operational during 2022.”
With the addition of the new line in Mardyck, ArcelorMittal will be the only steelmaker in Europe to have two mills dedicated to electrical steels. ArcelorMittal also has two mills which produce the steel substrate required for electrical steels: ArcelorMittal Fos-sur-Mer and ArcelorMittal Dunkerque.
Both Fos-sur-Mer and Dunkerque are actively involved in ArcelorMittal’s efforts to decarbonise its operations by 2050 – with an intermediate target to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% in Europe by 2030. At ArcelorMittal Dunkerque, two electric-arc furnaces (EAFs) which can run on low carbon energy will be built. Another EAF will be installed at Fos-sur-Mer. ArcelorMittal has also announced plans to install aDirect Reduced Iron (DRI) unit with the capacity to produce 2.5 million tonnes of DRI annually at Dunkerque.
Both Dunkerque and Fos-sur-Mer are already increasing the amount of scrap they are processing and these investments will contribute to that even more. ArcelorMittal is also investigating carbon capture and storage (CCS) options in Dunkerque. These efforts will significantly reduce emissions are a vital step on ArcelorMittal’s journey to become carbon neutral by 2050.
ArcelorMittal Europe was an exhibitor at the Coil Winding Expo (CWIEME) held in Berlin (Germany) from 10 to 12 May 2022. ArcelorMittal’s team of electrical steel experts were on-hand to discuss the latest advances and opportunities to co-engineer the future of e-mobility and the energy transition with customers. During the conference, ArcelorMittal experts also presented a paper on the latest addition to the iCARe® family of electrical steels: iCARe® 420 Save. Unsurprisingly, many of the conversations were about ArcelorMittal’s recently announced investment in a new electrical steel production facility at Mardyck.