Our energy transition is
ArcelorMittal has ambitious plans for Quebec and is working to make it the global steel industry decarbonization showpiece.
We have set the ambitious goal of reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2030 and we are aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050.
By improving our own record and intervening at the source, we will participate in producing greener steel, as we can allow the steel manufacturing industry to reduce its own GHG emissions.
Direct reduction pellets
One of the key elements of our decarbonization strategy is the conversion of our Port-Cartier pellet plant into one that only produces direct reduction pellets. These pellets have a higher iron content than traditional pellets and a lower silica content. Their production also emits less GHG than that of traditional pellets.
In a global context where many steel mills are converting their plants to electric arc furnaces to reduce emissions, these direct reduction pellets are particularly essential to the operation of these furnaces, the technology of which emits much less than blast furnaces.
The conversion of the ArcelorMittal pellet plant represents investments of over 200 million dollars between now and 2026. These investments will make it possible to increase the production of direct reduction pellets from
2.5 to 10 million tonnes annually. This migration to direct reduction pellets will also allow us to:
- Reduce Quebec’s GHG emissions by approximately 200,000 tonnes each year by reducing the pellet plant’s use of additives, fuel oil and coal. This is the equivalent of pulling 40,000 vehicles from Quebec roads.
- Reduce GHG by approximately 6 million tonnes per year in steel plants elsewhere in Canada and the world by allowing the use of electric arc furnaces.
From the forest to steel - a global first
ArcelorMittal and Quebec can make a difference in meeting the ever-growing worldwide demand for direct reduction pellets while reducing their own GHG emissions.
In the context of transforming the iron and steel industries, ArcelorMittal is thinking big when it comes to its operations in Quebec. Our vision is to harness the immense potential of the North Shore and Quebec’s forest resources.
One of the keys to success: replacing a maximum of fossil fuels with biofuels from the residual biomass of the North Shore and neighbouring regions.
75% of greenhouse gas emissions from the Port-Cartier pellet plant are from the use of coal and fuel oil. This is why we are working on reducing the amount used or even eliminating our reliance on these energy sources, thanks to the use of pyrolytic fuel, biochar and biogas.
From fuel oil to pyrolytic fuel
The Port-Cartier pellet plant is the first in the world to use pyrolytic oil on an ongoing basis.
Pyrolytic oil is a liquid, renewable, carbon-neutral biofuel produced using logging and lumber residue. Its high energy yield makes it possible to use in place of heavy fuel oil.
To guarantee a supply, in the spring of 2022, ArcelorMittal signed a partnership with BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada (“BioÉnergie”), a company partly owned by Groupe Rémabec/Produits Forestiers Arbec Inc.
The biofuel plant is located less than 2 kilometres from our Port-Cartier plant, and the agreement allows for the delivery of 16 million litres annually. Subsequent phases may increase its usage to 32 million litres annually.
This partnership between two major stakeholders in the local economy also marks the beginning of the creation of a truly regional energy ecosystem in the North Shore.
We are also planning to substitute as much of our coal as possible with biochar from forest biomass.
Other initiatives that make a difference
ArcelorMittal is involved right from the mining stage to improve its record with respect to GHG emissions. Many of the excavators that we use at the mine are electric. Our teams also actively assess the use of electric trucks or trucks running on cleaner fuels, such as electricity, green hydrogen, renewable diesel or biodiesel.
The crusher and concentrator at our Mont-Wright mine site are already electrified, which allows us to produce an iron concentrate with a low carbon footprint.
Lastly, we also plan to integrate our rail transport operations with new locomotives that run on electricity or hydrogen.
These processes support XCarb™, a global initiative that brings together all of ArcelorMittal’s low-carbon steel manufacturing products and activities, as well as other broader initiatives and innovation projects, in a unique attempt to make concrete progress towards an increasingly eco-responsible steel.