ArcelorMittal commissions plant to convert waste wood into bio-coal at its steel plant in Ghent, Belgium

ArcelorMittal commissions a first for the European steel industry to convert waste wood into bio-coal in order to reduce fossil coal consumption at its steel plant in Ghent, Belgium.

ArcelorMittal Belgium is passionate about sustainability and circularity and is playing a pioneering role in the industry when it comes to climate transition. the company strives to produce steel in a socially responsible manner and considers the social impacts along the whole product chain. ArcelorMittal Belgium is fully engaged in implementing an action plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 compared to 2018 and to become climate neutral by 2050. Within this framework, the company commissioned a plant to process waste wood into bio-coal suitable for the blast furnace process, hence lowering the volume of fossil coal used. This project will reduce annual carbon emissions by 112,500 tonnes. The Torero plant will convert 88,000 tonnes of waste wood into 37,500 tonnes of bio-coal each year. 

The use of bio-coal in the blast furnace process will result in bio-gas which will be transformed into ethanol by the Steelanol facility which can then be used as a building block to produce a variety of chemical products including transport fuels, paints, plastics, clothing and even cosmetic perfume, hence helping to support the decarbonisation efforts of the chemical sector.  The ethanol will be jointly marketed by ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech under the Carbalyst® brand name.

The Torero project is supported by European funding*, where the project consortium consists of full value chain:

  • Industry: ArcelorMittal,
  • Expert research organizations: Joanneum Research, University of Graz and Chalmers Technical University       
  • Developer of the carbonisation process technology: Perpetual Next (formerly TorrCoal)

When the new plant was built, it employed 70 external employees, the operation of this plant will lead to 16 new permanent direct jobs at ArcelorMittal Belgium.

Manfred Van Vlierberghe (CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium): ArcelorMittal Belgium has the ambition to decarbonise its steel production. In this context, we are fully engaged in implementing an action plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 compared to 2018 and to become climate neutral by 2050. We want to reduce not only our carbon footprint, but also our waste footprint – our steel company has a roadmap to zero carbon emissions and zero waste. We will do this step by step, in a responsible way, and the commissioning of the Torero plant is one such step – partially replacing fossil coal with bio-coal. This fits perfectly with our XCarb® program that brings together all of ArcelorMittal’s products and steelmaking activities with reduced, low and zero carbon emissions, as well as broader initiatives and innovation projects, into a single effort aimed at achieving demonstrable progress toward net zero carbon steel.

Martijn Dekker (CTO Perpetual Next): “Change starts with those who dare to lead the way. That is exactly what ArcelorMittal is doing with Torero by being the first to build a biogenic based carbonisation plant on site. We are excited about the Torero project, which is being based on Perpetual Next’s C-Vertr carbonisation technology, coming to live on one of the largest steel plants in Europe. Switching to bio-coal, produced from locally sourced waste wood, is a very effective route to lower the CO₂ footprint in the steel making process today and become circular. We have spent over a decade perfecting our patented C-Vertr carbonisation technology. We are very proud to support ArcelorMittal as technology partner”.

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Green Steel World Editorial Team

Green Steel World Editorial Team

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