European steelmaker ArcelorMittal plans to continue to acquire steel scrap recyclers in order to guarantee long-term security of supply, the group's vice-president for Climate Action Eric Niedziela said at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) conference on 24 May.
"As we have huge increases in scrap demand we are also trying to secure our material market by acquisitions, long term contracts, joint ventures and whatever we can do to be sure that our commitment to cut emissions by 35pc by 2030 can be achieved," Niedziela said, speaking on the BIR ferrous division panel.
ArceloMittal began this strategy in March this year with the acquisition of Scottish metals recycling group John Lawrie. At the start of May it bought six scrap yards in northern Germany.
The steelmaker is significantly ramping up its scrap requirement as it seeks to shift the bulk of its European steelmaking capacity from basic oxygen furnace to electric arc furnace partially fed by direct-reduced iron (DRI) by 2030. Its scrap demand will rise even during the transition period as it seeks to increase the utilisation of scrap in its BOF production to 250kg per ton of steel.
Niedziela told Argus that there is no single fixed profile for scrap suppliers that ArcelorMittal will look to acquire or enter into long-term partnerships with. He said the group aims to have access to a selection of different scrap qualities, both high and lower grade, that it will utilise in its EAFs alongside DRI at utilisation dependent on the grade of steel product produced in a given melt.
He emphasised that ArcelorMittal needs to guarantee security of electricity and raw material supply in order to commit to the €10bn ($10.7bn) investment required to meet its 2030 goals.
Under ArcelorMittal's plans to replace BOF capacity with EAF by 2030, Niedziela said the group's European electricity consumption will triple in order to power the new furnaces and their accompanying hydrogen-based DRI plants.
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