Our Spanish operations have always been central to our broader decarbonisation ambitions, with our plant in Gijón being our first European plant to complete a project which captures coke oven waste gas – which has  a high hydrogen content – and re-inject it into the blast furnace, hence reducing reliance on coal.

In July 2021, we took a major step towards accelerating our progress to carbon-neutrality in Spain by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Spanish government which will see a €1 billion investment in our plant in Gijón which will reduce CO2 emissions by 4.8 million tonnes within the next five years, the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 1,043,904 cars being driven for a year*.

At the heart of the plan is a 2.3 million-tonne green hydrogen DRI unit, complemented by a 1.1 million-tonne hybrid EAF. This starts the transition of the Gijón plant away from the blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace steelmaking production route to the DRI-EAF production route, which carries a significantly lower carbon footprint. The new DRI - which will be the first of its kind in Spain - and EAF will be in production before the end of 2025. 

*Calculated using the US EPA greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator 

To maximize the emissions reduction potential, ultimately green hydrogen – provided by Hydeal - will be used to reduce the iron ore in the DRI, with the EAF powered by renewable electricity.

The Gijón DRI will also feed our Sestao plant, situated approximately 250 kilometers from Gijón, where production is already entirely from the electric arc furnace route. This means that by 2025 ArcelorMittal Sestao will produce 1.6 million tonnes of steel and be the world’s first full-scale steel plant to achieve zero carbon-emissions.

How we will create the world’s first full-scale zero carbon-emissions steel plant:

“It is widely understood that for the world to achieve net-zero by 2050, faster progress over the next decade is essential.  The MoU we have signed today will play an important role in doing exactly that.  The construction of the new green hydrogen DRI plant in Gijón will not only enable us to reduce emissions at our Spanish operations by half, but will also result in the world’s first scope one and two net zero steel plan in Sestao.”

“Clearly, this is a project that will require the support of many different partners to succeed; our plan hinges on the supply of affordable, mass-scale hydrogen, access to sustainable finance and a supportive legal framework that allows us to be competitive globally. The Spanish government has clearly defined plans to transition the country to a decarbonised economy and I have been impressed by the progress made in creating the energy infrastructure that this green economy will require.”

“As a large emitter, the steel industry can make a vital contribution to achieving net zero.  This project demonstrates what is achievable and we hope it galvanizes engagement to accelerate progress over the next decade and beyond.”

Aditya Mittal, CEO ArcelorMittal

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