ArcelorMittal receives EIB grant for Belgian biocoal and biofuel projects

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €75 million loan to ArcelorMittal for the construction of two projects in Ghent, Belgium, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by converting waste and by-products into valuable new products.

One of the projects, Torero, is a €50 million large-scale demonstration plant to convert waste wood into biocoal, partially replacing the coal that is currently injected into the blast furnace. In the early stages, the Torero facility will have the capacity to convert 60,000 tonnes of waste wood into around 40,000 tonnes of biocoal annually. This volume will be doubled in the second stage of the project, after the start of the first Torero reactor.

According to ArcelorMittal, the new installation will create around 70 external jobs and 10 new permanent direct jobs for the operation of the installation. The plant, which is being developed in partnership with Torr-Coal, Renewi, Joanneum Research Centre, Graz University and Chalmers Technical University, is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

The Steelanol project will capture waste gases from the blast furnace and biologically convert them into recycled-carbon ethanol. The ethanol produced will be blended for use as a liquid fuel. Once complete, the plant will produce up to 80 million litres of recycled-carbon ethanol each year.

Geert Van Poelvoorde, CEO at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, said: “To date, we have committed more than €250 million to developing and testing technology that will help make steelmaking carbon neutral, leveraging our research and development facilities around the world.

“These two projects are our first large-scale implementations of new breakthrough solutions, as part of our commitment to reduce carbon emissions and transform steel production. With the EIB and European Commission’s support, we can scale up technologies and transition steel to carbon neutrality, and thereby play a significant role in helping Europe achieve its green ambitions.”

“Even in the current difficult times, Europe keeps it ambitious climate targets and the EIB, the EU climate bank, is committed to continuing to be a key partner,” said EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle. “In particular in the steel industry, it means finding new ways to power machines and processes that are essential for reducing carbon emissions. Thanks to a strong partnership with the European Commission, the EIB is very pleased to support the Steelanol and Torero projects in their efforts to work on more climate-friendly and competitive processes.”

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