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