Flanders steel industry will capture its CO2 emissions

Three industrial giants have signed a funding agreement to capture carbon. An experimental installation in the Port of Ghent will capture CO2 emissions from ArcelorMittal's blast furnaces. The installation will be a global first which could serve as an example for the steel industry worldwide.

Blast furnaces devour huge amounts of fossil fuels, making the steel industry one of the world's most polluting industries. According to estimates, it accounts for 7 to 9 per cent of global CO2 emissions and significant air pollution. While technology is being developed to reduce the energy-intensity of steel production, blast furnaces worldwide will still generate emissions for many decades to come. And then carbon capture is an important intermediate step to reduce the footprint of the polluting process

The principle of CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) is not new, but nowhere is it applied to blast furnaces. However, a handful of pilot projects are in the pipeline worldwide. In Ghent, a Steelanol plant will be commissioned later this year that converts carbon-rich process gases from blast furnaces into ethanol.

Not only steel giant ArcelorMittal is making funds available for the development of the prohibitively expensive technology. Two subsidiaries of Japanese multinational Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG) and Mitsubishi Development, will also be investing into the plant. And to top it off, BHP, the world's largest mining company, will be joining the project and signed agreements with India's Tata Steel and South Korea's Posco. The industrial cooperation envisages a large-scale plant in Ghent and a second in North America. A major financial effort that should create a substantial payback in the long run.

#FlandersNewsService | ArcelorMittal site in Zelzate, part of the Port of Gent, Wednesday 15 June 2022. © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE


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