ArcelorMittal to convert to EAF technology in Canada

Steelmaker announces plan to switch from blast furnace to electric arc furnace technology in Hamilton, Ontario.

metal chasing arrows
The proposed investment by ArcelorMittal could add to scrap consumption at its Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, complex.
Image provided by Adobe Stock.

Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal has announced a plan to invest more than $1.4 billion in decarbonization technologies at its Dofasco’s plant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The plan includes transitioning away from blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) steelmaking production to the direct-reduced iron (DRI)-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) production route, which the company says “carries a significantly lower carbon footprint.”

Steel industry analysts and emissions-reduction advocates have identified phasing out BOF production in favor of EAF production as a technique that can help the steel industry lower its carbon footprint. Earlier this week, ArcelorMittal released a climate action plan that identified the use of EAF steelmaking and scrap as a technique to reach its emissions reduction goals.

ArcelorMittal estimates new DRI and EAF installations at the Dofasco complex in Hamilton will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 60 percent. Although making DRI as feedstock is part of the plan, EAF melt shops also can consume scrap when market conditions favor that.

ArcelorMittal says the investment is contingent on support from the governments of Canada and Ontario, and the government of Canada already has announced it will invest $320 million in the project., according to the steelmaker. The company also says it is in discussions with the government of Ontario regarding its support.

The planned project includes the installation of a 2 million metric tons per year DRI facility and an EAF facility capable of producing 2.4 million metric tons of steel. Secondary metallurgy and secondary casting facilities also will be hosted at the Dofasco complex. “Modification of the existing EAF facility and continuous casters will also be undertaken to align productivity, quality and energy capabilities between all assets in the new footprint,” states ArcelorMittal.

The new DRI and EAF lines will be in production before the end of 2028, the company estimates.

Aditya Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, says, “This project is part of ArcelorMittal’s new global 25 percent CO2 2030 emissions reduction target which was announced yesterday in our second climate action report. Transitioning from the blast furnace route to the DRI route offers an immediate significant reduction in emissions in the first phase through natural gas and then in a second phase, which we call innovative DRI, harnessing green hydrogen or other Smart Carbon technologies.

Comments Canada’s Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, “Our government has been steadfast in defending and championing our steelworkers. Today’s announcement, through the Net Zero Accelerator, is about investing in the low-carbon transformation of Canadian industry, taking serious action in the global fight against climate change, and supporting good middle-class jobs in Hamilton. We will continue to be there to support growth and a strong economic future for our steelworkers and the broader Hamilton community.”

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