Tests to reduce carbon dioxide output at two experimental blast furnaces in ArcelorMittal plants in Europe are expected to produce results by 2014-15, ArcelorMittal's vice-president of corporate responsibility, Roland Verstappen, tells Steel Business Briefing. The furnaces are part of the Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) project that aims to develop new technologies to reduce the carbon emissions of steel plants.
However, the continuation of the project is dependent on funding, Verstappen warned. ArcelorMittal estimates the total cost of the two furnaces will be around 500m and it says it is 'counting on maximum support' from European governments, in particular France and Germany, and the European Commission, he said.
The first furnace at ArcelorMittal's EisenhÃ¼ttenstadt plant in Germany will have a capacity of 700,000 t/y and could reduce emissions by 25% through top gas recycling. Up to 50% of the blast furnace's carbon emissions could then be captured and stored, SBB understands.
A second, larger, blast furnace project is planned at ArcelorMittal's Florange plant in France. However, this is 'one or two years' behind the German project, Verstappen added.
ArcelorMittal could earn European carbon credits (EUAs) from the project if it is selected by the European Commission as one of twelve carbon capture and storage projects to be allocated credits.
ULCOS is a project which includes ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, Voestalpine and other steelmakers, and is part-funded by the European Commission.