A new, combined heating and power plant has been inaugurated in Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, cutting sulphur dioxide and dust emissions from the power plant by 80%. The power plant, which has been operating since the end of November 2021, provides district heating to the town, using a reliable and more environmentally sustainable supply of energy.

The power plant was built by Toplana Zenica, a joint venture between ArcelorMittal Zenica (50%), the City of Zenica (20%), and KPA Unicon and FinnFund (15% each). The plant’s new steam generators operate using coke oven gas and blast furnace waste gases from ArcelorMittal Zenica but can also operate using natural gas if necessary. Previously, the waste gases from the steel plant in Zenica were either flared or not fully re-used. The steam generated at the plant is also being used by ArcelorMittal Zenica, while air is supplied for the operation of the blast furnace.

With the new plant operational, the use of 150,000 tonnes of coal a year has been eliminated – not only cutting sulphur dioxide emissions from the power plant by 80% but also cutting 18% of ArcelorMittal Zenica’s total CO2 emissions. ArcelorMittal Zenica inherited the old, coal-fired power plant from its predecessor; it continued to run the old boilers in order to provide district heating to Zenica residents, but emissions from the use of coal to fire the boilers have to date, been the largest source of SO2 emissions from the steel plant.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Zenica, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe – Long Products, Augustine Kochuparampil said:

”I would like to congratulate all those involved in this important, landmark project. We set out to ensure a long-term, sustainable future for steel production in Zenica, and for the city’s heating system upon which so many people in Zenica are reliant in the winter months – and I am very proud to say that we have achieved our goals with this project, which is delivering significant environmental benefits to Zenica”.

CEO of ArcelorMittal Zenica, Nikhil Mehta said:

“I am very proud of the achievements of the entire team, and am especially grateful to the ArcelorMittal Group, which provided a full guarantee for the EBRD loan funds of €41 million. I am also very grateful for the good cooperation with and support of the Federal Government, the Cantonal Government and line ministries, and of course the Mayor and City of Zenica, all of whom have significantly contributed to the start of Toplana Zenica. This project is the best example that ArcelorMittal sees its future in BiH in the long run”, concluded Mr. Mehta.

CEO of Toplana Zenica, Emir Krgo:

“This project brings progress in the environmental protection of the Zenica valley, especially in winter, because it will significantly reduce pollution of sulphur dioxide emissions and dust by 80%. A team of young people worked on the project, with an  average age of 30. In addition to leading the Toplana Zenica project, the young experts also participated in the production and maintenance of the old boilers, which were working in parallel. Some of them started their work experience at the new heating plant. Toplana Zenica is designed to meet all relevant EU environmental standards, as well as all B&H regulations” concluded Mr. Krgo.

ArcelorMittal Zenica has completed a number of major environmental investments at the plant in recent years. In 2017, it became the first steel plant in the world to have industrial-scale hybrid filtration technology installed in its sinter plant.  And in September 2020, the company announced the successful installation of a second hybrid filter in the sinter plant, cutting dust emissions from sinter machine no. 6 below 10 mg/Nm3, a level which is well within European Union standards as well as being far below the 50mg/Nm3 legal limit in Bosnia & Herzegovina. A secondary dedusting system was also installed in the BOF steel plant.

About the ‘Toplana Zenica” Joint Venture

The partners in the new JV company are ArcelorMittal Zenica with 50% of share, City of Zenica with 20% of share, KPA Unicon and FinnFund with 15% of share of the Company.

The total value of the project is 53mil EUR, of which 41m EUR is a loan provided by EBRD, and the loan is secured by a guarantee provided by the ArcelorMittal Group. The balance of 12m EUR is provided through a direct investment of the partner in the joint venture.

About ArcelorMittal Zenica

With 2,350 direct jobs and more than 12,000 indirectly dependent on the company for employment through more than 600 local supplier companies, ArcelorMittal Zenica is one of the country’s biggest economic generators.

Sanjay Samaddar, CEO designate ArcelorMittal Europe – Long Products, Fadil Novalić Prime minister of the Federation of B&H, Augustine Kochoparampil, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe – Long Products, and Fuad Kasumović, Mayor of Zenica