We need 240kg of steel, per person, per year – So let’s make it sustainably
Steel is an essential material for economic development and growth because it is used in all areas of our everyday life. Around 1.87 billion tons of steel is produced each year – the equivalent of building 180,000 Eiffel towers – and more than half is used in building and infrastructure, but it is also heavily used in areas such as engineering, manufacturing, transportation, and energy production. According to the IEA, steel demand will increase by more than a third by 2050, particularly in emerging economies like China and India.
ArcelorMittal has already proven itself to be a sustainability trailblazer
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, is leading the charge for improved sustainability. The company already recycles 30 million tons of steel every year and is setting an example for how companies can minimize production’s environmental impact and improve operations’ circularity. These efforts reach beyond the traditional focus on recycling and greener production. For example, the producer has shown how steelmaking can provide heat for local communities and generate electricity using the heat and process gases that are used within a plant.
Its Belval facility sought greener operations while also minimizing downtime risks and improving safety
ArcelorMittal wanted to install a new MV electrical power line at its Train 2 facility in Belval, Luxembourg, which is the world’s largest hot-rolled steel sheet pile rolling mill. These sheet piles are used to retain soil or water, such as to create quay walls, tunnels, or dikes. For example, the sheet piles were used as part of the M.O.S.E flood barrier project in Venice.
This project had the following overall goals:
- Modernize its aging electrical installation sustainably
- Retrofit unused but outdated MV switchgear
- Dispose old parts like oil transformers ecologically and in compliance with environmental regulations
- Reduce downtime and improve safety
It must also be aligned with ArcelorMittal’s corporate philosophy of producing safe and sustainable steel and reducing its carbon footprint.
Upgrading equipment and modernizing its MV network was a sustainable solution to meet those needs
ArcelorMittal asked Schneider Electric to help upgrade and modernize its MV power network in line with its sustainability commitment and a circular economy approach. This started with a modernization performance safety (MPS) audit that assessed the Belval facility’s current MV network conditions and determined if equipment could either be retrofitted with the latest technologies or replaced for better safety and performance.
Based on the results of Schneider Electric audit, ArcelorMittal decided to recondition 13 medium-voltage switchgear and modernize 5 oil transformers by replacing them with dry-type transformers, which have a lower environmental impact. The facility also added sensors that monitor energy use and evaluate equipment health to minimize potential problems that could lead to downtime. The sensors provide the data that is analyzed for predictive maintenance to increases equipment’s lifespan and maintain high production levels.
The Belval site is now able to meet its environmental goals while benefiting from cost savings and decreased downtime
The Belval modernization project is already helping ArcelorMittal reach its sustainability and cost savings goals.
- The Belval facility has saved between 15 to 20 percent of the total cost by taking a circular economy approach to this project.
- Switchgear and transformer modernization prevented reprocessing of 26 metric tons of materials and avoid 170 equivalent metric tons of CO2 emissions.
- Downtime was reduced by an estimated 5 to 10 percent.
Discover five ways to achieve greener operations for greater productivity
Learn more in our eGuide, Five Innovative Approaches to Resource Sustainability in Mining, Minerals & Metals.