ArcelorMittal Belgium has started the construction of two new groundbreaking facilities at the ArcelorMittal Gent site to reduce carbon emissions. The two installations represent a total investment of 160 million euros and will avoid approximately 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in the first phase. For the financing, innovation support was obtained from, among others, the European Union and the Flemish government.
Torero (TORefying wood with Ethanol as a Renewable Output)
The Torero plant will convert waste wood into biocarbon suitable for the blast furnaces process. We will thus reduce the injection of fossil pulverized coal, which will in turn reduce our CO2 emissions. It also offers an alternative to the current incineration of the particularly difficult waste wood stream. In the early stage, the Torero plant will convert 120,000 ton of waste wood into around 50,000 tonnes of biocoal every year.
The technology of the torrefaction process has been developed by the company Torr-Coal, and the waste wood will be supplied by Renewi.
For the construction of the new installation, up to 70 external jobs will be created and about 10 new permanent direct jobs will be created for the operation of this installation. The commissioning and first production are expected by the end of 2020.
Via the Steelanol plant, we will transform the carbon-containing gases from our blast furnaces into bioethanol to be used as fuel for transportation or even for the production of synthetic materials. This will be the first industrial installation of its kind in Europe, producing 80 million litres of bioethanol annually.
The technology in the gas conversion process was pioneered by Chicago-based company, LanzaTech, with whom ArcelorMittal has entered a long-term partnership. The technology licensed by LanzaTech uses microbes that feed on carbon monoxide to produce bioethanol.
For the construction of the new installation, up to 500 external jobs will be created and about 30 new permanent direct jobs will be created for the operation of this installation. The commissioning and first production are expected by the end of 2020.
The application of this microbial gas conversion system significantly advances ArcelorMittal’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilization (CCU) capabilities and enhances steel’s role in the circular economy. ArcelorMittal’s long-term aspiration is to become a zero-waste business by further upscaling these innovations, with all materials used or generated during steel production recuperated, treated and reused in the production chain or becoming the raw materials for other industries. We do not want to limit ourselves to reusing our own waste, but we can also play a role in the processing of waste from other sectors.
Carl De Maré (ArcelorMittal Group CTO – Head of Technology Strategy)