ArcelorMittal 'blast furnace of the future' to expand North Sea Port circular economy

Published on Fri 5 Mar 2021
The installation of the brand new blast furnace B at ArcelorMittal Gent, is a giant step for North Sea Port to a circular future. "This will be a lever for numerous other sustainability projects in our port," says Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port.

ArcelorMittal Gent has completely revamped its Blast furnace B. The investment of 195 million euros is the largest in the history of the steel works at the Ghent-Terneuzen Sea Canal. The titanic job of building one of the most advanced blast furnaces in the world involved 5,000 tons of steel, 3,000 tons of refractory material and 265 kilometres of electrical cables. The new furnace features 1,100 measuring points for the close monitoring of the entire production process.

Greener steel, greener port

The new installation opens the door to more efficient production and a substantial reduction in emissions and energy consumption. The investment is proof of ArcelorMittal Gent’s position as one of the most environment-friendly steel producers in the world. The company’s aim is to be climate and waste neutral by 2050.

In the new blast furnace green and circular fuels will replace fossil fuels. The by-products for reprocessing from steel production will be the raw materials for other industrial sectors such as chemicals, petrochemicals or even food. ArcelorMittal already works together with other companies within North Sea Port. One of these is the Steelanol project, that turns carbon-containing gases from the blast furnaces into bioethanol. And the Steel2Chemicals project, converts residual gases into raw materials for the chemical company Dow Chemical.

"The new blast furnace is a genuine step closer to the climate objectives of North Sea Port and fits in perfectly with our strategy of giving every opportunity to the circular economy in our port", says CEO Daan Schalck. “It will create sustainable activity and future-oriented jobs."

Photo: ArcelorMittal