ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | June 2024

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Underpinning Europe’s renewable energy revolution

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When will the world hit ‘peak oil’ production? If demand for steel plate is anything to go by, the answer to this question is probably ‘very soon’. Since 2016, ArcelorMittal’s business in Europe has witnessed a steady decline in demand from the oil and gas sector. Happily, alongside this decline, ArcelorMittal Europe has seen stunning growth in demand from the renewable energy sector, and in particular wind.

In conversation with Laurent Plasman, Chief Marketing Officer, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products Industry

“In 2016, wind turbines accounted for 15 to 20 percent of our output,” notes Laurent Plasman, Chief Marketing Officer, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products Industry. “Now it’s between 50 and 60 percent.”

The European Union has agreed a binding target to source 42.5 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. To get there, the region’s installed wind capacity will have to double from 255 GW in 2022 to more than 500 GW. In simple terms, that means tens of thousands of new windmills, each of them sitting atop a tower made of steel.

New wind power capacity in Europe

Nor is wind the only renewable energy sector underpinned – literally – by steel.

EU Solar PV Installations 2023

In 2022, the European Commission set a target to grow solar capacity to over 320 GW by 2025 – double 2022 levels – and almost 600 GW by 2030. Hitting these targets will entail massive investment in solar PV, either on the roofs of residential and commercial properties, or utility-scale installations.

With homeowners justifiably concerned about overloading their rafters, companies like ArcelorMittal are developing lighter, high-grade steel products. And for solar-farms, the company has developed Magnelis® , a metallic coating that provides enhanced corrosion protection due to its unique ‘self-healing’ properties.

As Europe’s renewable energy revolution gathers pace, the wind and solar companies developing projects are increasingly looking at their supply chains and asking for low-carbon solutions.

Laurent Plasman notes that it’s counter-intuitive to produce clean energy from carbon intensive materials: “That’s why we are seeing increased interest in our range of XCarb® low-carbon emissions steel from our renewable energy customers.”

Vestas has introduced ArcelorMittal’s low carbon-emissions steel offer for wind turbines.

Other energy-transition applications for steel come from pipelines to transport carbon dioxide for sequestration in gas-permeable rock formations deep underground, or ‘green’ hydrogen, made from the electrolysis of water molecules using electricity from renewable sources.

“This is the next step for us in terms of how we can continue to support and facilitate Europe’s drive to clean energy,” says Laurent Plasman. “Our R&D teams are already working on this. We’ll be ready for the opportunity as this market develops.”

Come and meet our dedicated solar team & discover our full products & solutions offer at Intersolar.

Come and meet our dedicated wind team & discover our full products & solutions offer at wind energy.

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