Companies sign carbon capture agreement for steel industry

ArcelorMittal, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG), and global resources company, BHP, along with Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd, are collaborating on a multi-year trial of MHIENG’s carbon capture technology with ArcelorMittal, following the signing of a funding agreement between the parties. The companies will also conduct a feasibility and design study to support progress to full scale deployment.

The agreement, which involves a trial at ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in Gent, Belgium and another site in North America, will ‘bring together the expertise of the various partners in identifying ways to enhance carbon capture and utilisation and/or storage (CCUS) technologies in the hard-to-abate steelmaking industry’, according to a press release. The International Energy Agency estimates CCUS technology needs to apply to more than 53% of primary steel production by 2050, equivalent to 700Mt/yr of CO2, for the Net Zero Emissions scenario.

ArcelorMittal is facilitating the trial at its 5Mt/yr steel plant in Gent, Belgium, and at another location in North America, with MHIENG supplying its proprietary technology and supporting the engineering studies. BHP and Mitsubishi Development, as key suppliers of high-quality steelmaking raw materials to ArcelorMittal’s European operations, will fund the trial that is anticipated to run for multiple years.

The parties plan to install the mobile test unit in one of ArcelorMittal’s North American Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plants, to test MHIENG’s technology in this steelmaking route.

ArcelorMittal Belgium’s chief executive officer, Manfred Van Vlierberghe, said: “The decarbonization of the steel industry is a huge challenge that we cannot solve alone: it is through pan-industry partnerships and collaboration that we will achieve ArcelorMittal’s climate goals of reducing CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 in Europe, and by 30% by 2030 worldwide. We are therefore proud to be working with BHP, Mitsubishi Development and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering on this pioneering Carbon Capturing pilot project, in ArcelorMittal Gent.”

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “There is currently no certain or single pathway to net zero for steelmaking. CCUS is one of the key abatement technologies with potential to support development of some of those pathways, so working with industry leaders like ArcelorMittal, Mitsubishi Development and MHIENG, we hope to arrive at scalable solutions more quickly to help reduce carbon emissions in steelmaking.”

“Steel is a critical product for the world to develop and decarbonize, and we must work hard, together, to enable lower GHG emissions steel, support the reduction of carbon intensity in the blast furnace and test new technologies for steel production,” Pant added.