ArcelorMittal broke ground on its decarbonization project at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, Ontario. The project, which was first announced in July 2021, is part of the company’s target to reduce the carbon intensity of the steel it produces by 25% by 2030. The $1.3 billion project will fundamentally change the way steel is made at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, transitioning the site to direct-reduced-iron electric-arc furnace (DRI-EAF) steelmaking. This process carries a lower carbon footprint and removes coal from the ironmaking process. The company’s new DRI furnace, which has a capacity of 2.5 million metric tons, will initially operate on natural gas but will be constructed so it can be transitioned to utilize green hydrogen as a clean energy input when a sufficient, cost-effective supply of green hydrogen becomes available. 

ENERGIRON, the direct reduction technology jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli, has been chosen as the DRI equipment. It will produce 2.5 million metric tons of DRI per year to be used in Hamilton’s EAFs. The DRI plant will be the largest single-module direct reduction plant in Canada, according to ArcelorMittal. In addition to the new DRI facility, the project also involves the construction of an EAF capable of producing 2.4 million metric tons of high-quality steel through ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s existing casting, rolling and finishing facilities.

On-site construction work will begin in January 2023 with demolition of the decommissioned No.1 Coke Plant to make room for the new DRI plant. Demolition is anticipated to take up to nine months to complete. Detailed engineering work will be undertaken in 2023 before foundation work begins in 2024. Construction on the new assets will be complete in 2026, at which point a 12- to 18-month transition phase will begin with both steelmaking streams (BF-BOF and DRI-EAF) active. The transition will be complete by 2028. 

This project contributes to the sustainability of well-paying skilled positions in advanced manufacturing and is also expected to support as many as 2,500 jobs during the engineering and construction phases.