Arcelor is promoting a similar facility in France that it froze in Asturias: What matters is electricity and its price

Multinational steel company ArcelorMittal this Monday signed an agreement with the French Government to receive state subsidies that will allow it to undertake these facilities. Decarbonization plan for Dunkirk factoryWith a project similar to the one paralyzed in the north of France, both in Asturias and, according to the group, in Germany and Belgium.

The signing of the agreement came after ArcelorMittal and state electricity company EDF signed a “letter of intent” for future signing. Energy supply contract to power the Dunkerque power plant from the nearby Gravelines nuclear power plant It is owned by EDF (the largest in France and the second in Europe), over which the French Government maintains control. ArcelorMittal stated that future electricity supply was “a necessary requirement and condition for this investment”, underlining the “reform of the electricity market carried out in France”.

ArcelorMittal says the biggest obstacle to keeping the project on hold is the cost of energy. Asturias. France has a special electricity tariff, called Arehn, which allows the French electro-intensive industry to access cheaper energy prices than in Spain and other countries, although the wholesale price of electricity on the daily market has been much higher in the last two years. It is cheaper in Spain than in France.

French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial Sovereignty, Bruno Le MaireWenger, who went to Dunkirk yesterday to attend the signing of the protocol, said in a statement on Sunday that this agreement “is a climate and economic victory for France.” “Four” European facilities are competing for this investment, “and this is one of them,” he said. In Germany “. President Emmanuel Macron yesterday described the agreement as “historic”.

The Dunkerque project involves supplying the plant with two electric furnaces (similar to the one approved by the multinational company to replace the existing Veriña steel mill) and replacing one of the two blast furnaces with a direct reduction furnace. (DRI) is similar to the one promised for Gijón and is currently on hold, although 450 million in aid from the Spanish Government has been approved since April.

The DRI plant, which consists of a new technology that has not yet been tested, is vital for the decarbonization of extensive steel mills such as the one in Asturias without losing this status; This cannot happen if the production process starts from electric ovens. iron ore is no longer converted, it is converted into scrap and pre-reduced.

The agreement with the French Government was signed with the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe). Because of this, The French State will provide 850 million aid, which is 44.44 percent of the 1 billion 800 million investment committed.. In Gijón the investment is 1,000 million and the subsidy to DRI (450 million) represents 45% of the total. The Gijón hybrid electric furnace currently under construction also benefits from other types of additional subsidies.

The DRI project for Asturias was announced in July 2021 in Gijón by the Mittal family (the controlling shareholder of the multinational company) and the President of the Spanish Government. The Dunkirk project was announced to the public seven months later, in February 2022. Permission to access public aid from the European Commission in February 2023. Arcelor was the first company to achieve this. Dunkirk achieved this five months later, last July. Arcelor plans to put its new production facility into operation from 2027, one year ahead of the limit envisaged by the European Next Generation funds used in Spain to subsidize the DRI in Gijón, the northernmost facility it owns in France. Dunkirk suffered a three-week strike in December.

Gimena Llamedo: “We are confident that investments in Asturias will be realized”

Christian Garcia, Aviles

The principality’s vice president, Gimena Llamedo, assured yesterday in Avilés that “the Government of Asturias is in constant communication with the Government of Spain” regarding ArcelorMittal’s decarbonisation plans. When asked about the company’s decision to suspend the DRI plant project in Gijón, Llamedo said: “We are confident that the investments will be made to decarbonize the Asturian plant. We will continue this dialogue to keep everything going.”

Carlos Paniceres: “The fight is in the price of energy, we must be competitive”

Oriol Lopez, Oviedo

Carlos Paniceres, president of the Oviedo Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday that failure to fully implement ArcelorMittal’s green plan would be “the worst news for Asturias”. Paniceres emphasized that “war is at the price of energy” in projects such as Arcelor’s project. “We need energy in quantity and price, and for this we need to facilitate the implementation of renewable energy in Asturias,” said the business leader, who demanded “tools for Asturias to be competitive.”

Source: Informacion

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