European steel users will have to be ready to accept higher steel costs, up by around 60 percent, following the transformation of production processes within a green perspective, said Geert Van Poelvoorde, CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, during an interview given to Reuters. He added that the steel giant is looking for subsidies, especially in Germany, and also “looking for partners from the energy sector to deliver renewable power,” as the company wants “to replace carbon and increase the use of scrap metal.”
The company expects the transformation of the Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt plants in Germany will cost €1-1.5 billion. At each of these sites, a blast furnace will be closed and electric arc furnaces will be installed. The construction of direct reduction of iron ore (DRI) plants at Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt is also planned. These could be run on gas as a transition fuel initially, and later with hydrogen, which is considered carbon-neutral when derived from renewable electricity. These investments “have the potential to save five million tonnes of CO2 per year. That is significant,” Van Poelvoorde said. He added that the EU needs to put border protection tariffs on imported steel from countries with heavy carbon loads.