“The climate crisis and race to zero greenhouse gas emissions is the defining issue of our generation… It is an unprecedented challenge, and the steel industry is critical to meeting it.” --Worldsteel's Net-Zero Steel Pathway Methodology Project, July 2021.

Our world is clearly changing and therefore, the steel industry is also changing.

The technologies required to reach net zero steel production are in various stages of maturity. A significant effort from the industry, academia, policy makers, governments, and society in general will be needed to ensure our generation wins this battle and controls the temperature increase on our planet.

The path going forward requires intelligent decision making and very thoughtful investments. The choice to scale-up technologies that are not yet proven, which often require high CAPEX investments and increases the operational cost of producing the products will never pass the net present value test for investments.  The test needs to be followed by adequate levels of regulation and support so the transition becomes viable, the leaders survive the painful but necessary route of innovation and companies retain their competitive value.

ArcelorMittal's climate action plan for North America

ArcelorMittal North America is very actively pursuing the global company-wide target of reaching 25% reduction in 2030 and becoming net-zero by 2050. Starting with a very competitive footprint, ArcelorMittal North America is currently working on significative projects to further reduce its carbon footprint:

  • AM/NS Calvert in Alabama, USA is currently building its 1.5Mt electric arc furnace (EAF) which will replace higher intensity liquid steel, and will supply high quality steel for the automotive, pipe and tube, energy industries and construction segments
  • ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Canada recently announced with the Government of Canada its intention for a CAD$1.765 billion investment in decarbonization technologies at its plant in Hamilton. The intended investments will reduce annual CO2 emissions at Ontario’s operations by approximately 3 million tonnes, which represents 60% of emissions in the plant
  • ArcelorMittal announces CAD$205 million decarbonisation investment in its flagship Canadian mining operations with support from the Quebec government
  • ArcelorMittal Long Products Canada successfully tested incremental use of hydrogen in existing DRI facilities in 2021
  • ArcelorMittal Mexico is pursuing various continuous improvement initiatives towards CO2 reduction on its facilities

In many respects, the challenges confronting steelmaking today resemble those faced by renewable energy more than a decade ago. Then, the importance of solar and wind power was widely acknowledged yet the technology remained economically prohibitive. The levels of investment, innovation, and adoption we have seen since have driven the cost of solar and wind power down to be cheaper than coal in various geographies.

This cost adjustment was driven by targeted, reliable and thoughtful policies that enabled both companies and their financing partners to make long-term planning decisions. We are optimistic that the same will happen in the steel industry.

Steel is a critical material for emerging economies around the globe; and taking advantage of its unique ability to be completely reusable and recyclable, we are developing innovative processes that use less energy, emit less carbon, and reduce costs. We are forging ahead building smarter steels for a better world.