Using low-carbon steel demand to push steel mills’ decarbonization moves: IIO 2024

A low-carbon world will still need steel that can satisfy the diverse demands of a variety of downstream sectors, Frederik Leus, of ArcelorMittal’s Xcarb Business Development section, said in an address to Fastmarkets’ International Iron Ore and Green Steel Summit, being held in Vienna, Austria, on June 25

But the journey to net-zero-carbon steel products will require solutions achieved through more than one technology route, he said.

There are challenges and opportunities in the transition to decarbonization from the customer perspective, he said.

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“There are challenges for steelmakers too, including supply-chain security, and [ways] to connect upstream raw materials to downstream end-users,” Leus said. “Mills are very sensitive to environmental data, but it’s also very important to understand the role and value of steel [as a] driver behind the demand for low-emissions steel.”

There are diverse drivers of this low-carbon steel demand, he said, including demand from the global clean energy transition in construction, battery electric vehicles and low-carbon buildings.

The key factor in the transition to net-zero, Leus said, is access to enough clean energy at affordable prices, while the market drivers for consumption of low emissions steel will include procurement for public projects, offtake agreements and green loans.

ArcelorMittal is committed to decarbonizing steel production, he added, and to achieving its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

The company’s route toward decarbonization will combine the use of recycled steel with increased consumption of scrap, and direct-reduction iron in electric-arc furnaces, and the circular economy of carbon capture and storage or reuse (CCUS), as well as clean power in the direct reduction of iron.

ArcelorMittal is using the Xcarb brand to provide a broad range of low-carbon flat steel products for the downstream market, produced with recycled and renewably produced steel, paving the way for the use of DRI in the future.

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