Belgium

Gent

ArcelorMittal Gent is an integrated steelworks located in the port of Gent. Our plant has all the necessary facilities to convert raw materials into steel products with high added value. Every year, 5 million tons of flat carbon steel is shipped to automotive and industrial customers. Many cars, appliances, furniture and other applications are therefore made of our steel.

Employing 4,600 people, we are one of the largest private employers in Flanders. Our employees’ knowledge and motivation are two of our main assets. They play an essential part in the further optimisation of our safety performance, product quality and overall productivity.

We have been publishing a corporate responsibility report for our sites at Gent, Geel and Genk since 2012.

gent.arcelormittal.com

Liège

Our facilities in Liège produce a wide range of innovative products to meet the increasingly demanding needs of companies in the automotive, industrial, domestic appliances and the packaging sector.

We started transforming our activities in Liège a couple of years ago and are now concentrating on five strategic and innovative lines, working in close collaboration with the CRM Group, the Center for Metallurgical Research, located in Sart-Tilman (Liège).

Download the ArcelorMittal Liège Corporate Responsibility Report 2015 (French)

Message from the leadership

Matthieu Jehl - CEO and Chairman of the Management Committee of the Cluster ArcelorMittal Gent-Liège

Leading the Way

Managing water responsibly

Message from the leadership

In 2015 the worldwide production of steel decreased by 2.8% to 1.6 billion tons of steel. The worldwide consumption of steel decreased in all subcontinents, with exception of Europe. Most striking when looking back at 2015 is the slower growth of China. Chinese steel demand fell, resulting in an overcapacity of steel on its local market. Trying to compensate for this weaker (local) market situation, China started exporting steel on a massive scale. This resulted in two things: replacing volume in the European market - the market share of imported steel in Europe increased up to 15% in 2015 – and causing a negative price effect. Chinese steel plants are funded by their government, which enables them to sell their steel products at dumping prices on the European market. As a result, the sale price of steel in Europe fell almost 22% in 2015.

We are of course in favour of free trade but this does not extend to the current Chinese dumping practices. The topic has been raised multiple times to the European Union, national and the regional authorities. We ask for a level playing field towards our worldwide competitors. This entails:

  • Imposing anti-dumping measures (import levies) to companies that sell their steel on the European market at prices lower than the actual cost of production.
  • Not granting the market economy status (MES) to China. If MES were granted, all anti-dumping measures would become nearly impossible to impose.

The current situation cannot be compared to the crisis of 2009, however. European demand for steel remains good and the debt rate of our Group has improved.

The strategy of ArcelorMittal Flat Products Europe and of ArcelorMittal Gent thus remains unchanged:

(1) aligning our production capacity to market demand,
(2) fully utilising the capacity of our installations, and
(3) focusing on products with a high-added value to raise our market share.

As a response to the difficult market situation, we have added a fourth step to our strategy: operational excellence. One of the most visible effects of this is the integration of the ArcelorMittal sites of Ghent and Liège into one cluster, as of 1st January 2016.

Despite the difficult market situation, we can look back with pride at our accomplishments of last year. In 2015 we successfully repaired our blast furnace A, which is now once again ready for years of high production. We have all the cards in our hand to make 2016 a breakthrough year with high production volumes and excellent shipping levels.

In addition, we are in the middle of executing an €140 million investment programme, spread over several years, allowing us to produce the Fortiform® steel of the future. Phase 2 of the dynamic soft reduction in the steel shop, two new rolling stands in the hot strip mill and a new furnace and zinc pot in our hot dip galvanising line 3 all make up part of this investment programme. The year 2016 will be key in bringing our new ultra-high-strength steel to market. By doing so, we want to strengthen our position as preferred supplier to our automotive clients.

Our motto remains: To continue playing in the Champions League of the steel industry. WCM (World Class Manufacturing) is the best methodology to achieve our aim of continuously improvement, through five steps:

1. Improving our safety and health performance as well as the engagement of our employees
2. Increasing our productivity and eliminating our bottlenecks
3. Efficient and effective use of processes and resources
4. Innovation in all aspects of our business conduct
5. Investing in sustainability and environment

Our strategy needs to enable us to remain the ‘leader of the pack’ within the ArcelorMittal Group. Together we make the difference in safeguarding the sustainability of our company. I wish you an enjoyable read of this fifth edition of our corporate responsibility report.

Matthieu Jehl - CEO and Chairman of the Management Committee of the Cluster ArcelorMittal Gent-Liège

Leading the Way

Why does the steelmaking process need so much water, and given the pressures on groundwater, what are we doing to reduce our impact?

Water is a key input in steelmaking at almost every stage. First and foremost, since high temperatures are part of the steel production process, our facilities need cooling. Just think of the engines in the sinter plants, the shell of the blast furnace, the converter in the steel shop and the rolling stands in the hot strip mill. As well as for cooling, water is also used in a number of other industrial processes, including quenching coke, granulating blast furnace slag to produce blast furnace sand, removing scale from steel slabs in the hot strip mill and for steam production. For environmental purposes, water is also used to combat dust – for sprinkling unpaved roads during dry spells for example, or in the spray system installed on unloading cranes - and in the gas treatment facilities in the blast furnaces and the steel shop.

Our main source of water, however, is not groundwater but the Ghent-Terneuzen canal. The water is taken in at the north side of our site and used in the production process before being discharged near the southern boundary of our territory. Each cubic metre of water that is withdrawn is used 27 times. This requires numerous water treatment facilities, water towers and cooling towers.

In the mid-1990s, we launched a multi-year project which doubled our water recycling rate compared to 1993. In 2015, 21.8 million m3 of canal water was pumped and about 17.4 million m3 was discharged after treatment. The discharged water – meets all environmental requirements.

In the past, groundwater was used far more in our processes. Now we’ve taken measures to use canal water instead, wherever possible, and we’ve managed to significantly reduce our groundwater intake over the years, from 2 million m³ per year to just under 1.1 million m3 in 2015.

Nowadays, the extraction of groundwater is limited to certain applications where we have no other choice. For example, where we cannot use canal water for certain applications due to its seasonally high saline levels. Or where liquid hot metal or steel comes into contact with shallow groundwater reservoirs, such as in temporary storage pits for pig iron. In these circumstances, we have no option but to drain the groundwater. To prevent it from going to waste, we then use it in several other applications.

In 2015, our specific water withdrawal amounted to 4.8m3 per tonne of liquid steel, which more or less corresponds to levels recorded in previous years (4.4 m3 per tonne of liquid steel in 2014). The characteristics of the water extracted mean that any additional reduction in water extraction is not possible. In the same year we discharged 3.6m3 per tonne of steel, making our net consumption a mere 1.2 m3 water per tonne of steel. With this performance, we are amongst the most efficient integrated steelworks worldwide.