ArcelorMittal Belgium will reduce CO2 emissions by 3.9 million metric tons per year by 2030 by building a 2.5-million-metric-ton direct reduced iron (DRI) plant and two electric-arc furnaces (EAFs) at its Ghent site to operate alongside a blast furnace that is ready to take waste wood and plastics as a substitute for fossil carbon. A DRI plant uses natural gas, and potentially hydrogen, instead of coal to reduce iron ore, which results in a reduction in CO2 emissions compared with blast-furnace ironmaking. The two EAFs will melt the DRI and scrap steel, which will then be transformed into steel slabs and then further processed into finished products.
Once the DRI and EAFs are built, there will be a transition period during which production will move gradually from blast furnace A to the DRI and EAFs, after which blast furnace A will be closed as it reaches the end of its life. The DRI plant will operate alongside Ghent’s blast furnace B, which restarted production in March 2021. By 2030, this will result in a reduction of around 3 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year.