A circular vision of the future

The relining of the blast furnace will play a significant role in reducing the site’s CO2 emissions and achieving its climate objectives through, for example, more efficient fuel consumption. In addition, ArcelorMittal Belgium is committed to contributing to the EU’s ambitious climate objectives in the framework of The Green Deal. The Ghent relining project will contribute to ArcelorMittal Europe’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 compared with 2018. As a group, ArcelorMittal has an ambition to be climate neutral by 2050. These actions are also fully in line with the ArcelorMittal Group’s climate strategy as described in the Climate Action Report.

In the blast furnaces, ArcelorMittal Gent plans to replace fossil carbon with green and circular carbon and green and circular hydrogen. ‘Fresh’ raw materials will increasingly be replaced with waste products in an environmentally and economically feasible way. The Torero project, which will be commissioned in 2022, will allow for the pre-treating of waste wood from container parks to produce biocarbon suitable for the blast furnace process. There are also two projects running with plastic waste that could be injected into the blast furnaces in the form of powder or gas. The possibility of replacing fossil carbon with hydrogen is also being explored.

ArcelorMittal Belgium’s blast furnace of the future

ArcelorMittal Belgium officially inaugurated its blast furnace B in Ghent in March 2021 following a significant investment to renew the furnace. The result is one of the world’s most modern and efficient blast furnaces both in terms of productivity and CO2 emissions.

Steelmaking at the heart of the circular economy

The new blast furnace, which was given an optimal shape, was completely relined and is equipped with state-of-the-art automation systems. This investment will further enable steelmaking to be at the heart of the circular economy and help the company lower CO2 emissions and achieve its climate objectives through more efficient fuel consumption, the recycling of wood waste, and the injection of waste gases as well as end-of-life plastics.

State-of-the-art technology

As part of the project, the design of the renewed blast furnace was optimised to make the blast furnace process more efficient with expert teams from ArcelorMittal’s R&D centres in Spain and France working closely with ArcelorMittal Gent. Thanks to the relining, blast furnace B is now one of the most advanced blast furnaces worldwide with unrivalled productivity. The site’s Industrial IT, Automation, and Model department led the automation aspect of the project, switching to a new PLC platform with a modern user interface and extensive diagnostic facilities (on the basis of the measurement of temperature, pressure, etc.). Safety aspects were also thoroughly revised and enhanced. In addition, a new network infrastructure was put in place, the processing computer software was adapted, and the models were optimised for controlling the new blast furnace. Around 5000 tons of steel and 3000 tons of refractory material were used for the blast furnace relining and 265 kilometres of electric cables were drawn.

ArcelorMittal in Belgium

ArcelorMittal in Belgium