Ending many months of negotiations, the federal government will invest $400 million in Hamilton’s ArcelorMittal Dofasco to support a $1.765-billion project to convert the steel production process and phase out coal-fired steelmaking at its facilities. Essentially Dofasco will replace its blast furnaces and coke ovens with electric arc furnace technology. This project will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 3 million tonnes per year by 2030. Together with the Algoma Steel project announced on July 5, 2021, the two projects will reduce GHG emissions by up to 6 million tonnes per year. This is equivalent to taking more than 1,800,000 passenger vehicles off the road, almost the number of passenger vehicles in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver combined. The announcement brought Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to Hamilton, They were joined by local ministers Filomena Tassi and Karina Gould. ArcelorMittal President Aditya Mittal joined the meeting remotely and talked about what the project will mean.
Project could leapfrog into zero emission hydrogen technology
The project has been designed to go beyond Electric Arc technology to the emerging carbon-free hydrogen technology. New ArcelorMittal Dofasco President Ron Bedard said the investment will support ArcelorMittal Dofasco in becoming the world’s first producer to transition to a hydrogen-ready, direct reduced iron–fed electric arc furnace at this scale for the development of advanced steels that serve the automotive, medical and consumer packaging industries. The size of the investment ensures ArcelorMittal’s continued presence in Hamilton for years to come. This project is expected to support as many as 2,500 well-paying construction jobs through subcontracting, while maintaining Dofasco’s strong employment position in Hamilton, and provide upskilling opportunities for workers.
Ontario support critical to project
Todays announcement follows over a year of intense negotiations with both the federal government and the province of Ontario. Both Tony Valeri, head of Government Relations for Arcelor Mittal Dofasco and company CEO Mittal made it clear that the project is contingent on Ontario supporting it financially as well.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco has produced a video explaining what todays announcement will mean in terms of emissions and the company’s carbon footprint.