ArcelorMittal gets government backing for Canadian EAF switch

ArcelorMittal gets government backing for Canadian EAF switch

Steelmaker gets more than $700 million in government support for its project in Hamilton, Ontario.

February 16, 2022

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal says it has confirmed with the governments of Canada and Ontario its plan for an investment of approximately CAD$1.8 billion ($1.42 billion) to convert blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BOF) steelmaking technology to electric arc furnace (EAF) technology in that Canadian province.

As announced in July of last year, the investment at the former Dofasco plant in Hamilton, Ontario, will reduce annual COemissions at ArcelorMittal’s Hamilton operations by approximately 3 million metric tons, which represents approximately 60 percent of emissions.

The investment involves transitioning away from the blast furnace-BOF production route to direct-reduced iron (DRI) and EAF production. The switch also means the Hamilton mill may consume more ferrous scrap, and it will carry a “significantly lower carbon footprint,” according to ArcelorMittal.

The project is scheduled to be complete by 2028, though the company says it is looking for opportunities to accelerate the project’s timeline.

The investment was contingent on support from the governments of Canada and Ontario, says ArcelorMittal. Last July 2021, the government of Canada announced it will invest CAD$400 million ($315 million) in the project and in mid-February, the government of Ontario announced it will invest CAD$500 million ($394 million).

The announcement relative to Ontario’s funding was made at an event at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, which was attended by ArcelorMittal North America CEO John Brett, ArcelorMittal Dofasco President and CEO Ron Bedard, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, Minister of Energy Todd Smith and Ontario Parliament member Donna Skelly.

The reconfigured mill will include a 2.5-million-metric-ton DRI facility and an EAF facility capable of producing 2.4 million metric tons of steel through its existing metallurgy and casting facilities. Modification of the existing EAF facility and continuous casters also will be undertaken to align productivity, quality and energy capabilities between all assets in the new footprint, the company says.

“This once-in-a-generation investment to transform the province into a world-leading producer of green steel is a major step forward as we strive for a full economic recovery and transform our auto supply chains to build the car of the future – right here in Ontario,” Fedeli said at the ceremony.

Bedard of ArcelorMittal added, “This is the most significant construction project ever undertaken at Dofasco. All options for the newest, most advanced technology that achieves maximum carbon reduction for steelmaking, enhanced product capability and quality and advanced manufacturing employment opportunities were explored.”

In the past seven months, ArcelorMittal also has announced investments in EAF technology in France, Belgium and Spain. Combined investment for the four projects totals $5.6 billion, ArcelorMittal says.