An important component of our Smart Carbon low-emissions steelmaking pathway is the potential replacement of coal with circular carbon sources including sustainable biomass in the form of forestry residues and agricultural waste, and even waste plastics.

To prove the viability of this approach, we are constructing an industrial-scale demonstration plant that converts waste wood into renewable energy through a process called torrefaction. The demonstration plant, based at our steelworks in Gent, Belgium, involves the construction of two reactors, each of which will produce 40,000 tonnes of bio-coal annually.

Construction of the €55 million project started in 2018: reactor 1 is expected to start production in 2022 and reactor 2 in 2024. When in full production the project is anticipated to reduce Gent’s CO2 emissions by 225,000 tonnes per year.

Torero: project blueprints