Partnership for breakthrough €87m biofuel production facility

Friday 1 August 2014

The project, aimed to produce 47,000 tonnes of ethanol per year, will be sufficient to fuel half a million cars with ethanol blended gasoline. It will demonstrate the added value of recycling waste streams, not only by reducing emissions at source, hence reducing ArcelorMittal Europe’s direct carbon footprint, but by keeping fossil fuels in the ground through the production of commodity chemicals and fuels that would otherwise be made from oil. The resulting bioethanol is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 80 per cent compared with conventional fossil fuels. It will predominantly be used in gasoline blending, but it can also be further processed into other products such as drop in jet fuel.

The construction of the €87 million flagship pilot project, which will be located at ArcelorMittal Europe’s steel plant in Ghent, Belgium, is anticipated to commence in 2016, with bioethanol production expected to start mid-2017. Construction will be in two phases, with phase one providing an initial capacity of 16,000 tonnes of ethanol per annum by mid-2017 and phase two, which will be completed in 2018, bringing the total capacity to 47,000 tonnes of ethanol per annum.

ArcelorMittal, which has been working on this project since 2011, has signed a long-term partnership agreement with LanzaTech. Hence, once construction of the Ghent flagship plant is complete and the commercial viability of the project is proven, the intention is to construct further plants across ArcelorMittal’s operations. If scaled up to its full potential in Europe, the technology could enable the production of around 500,000 tonnes of bioethanol a year.

Primetals Technologies will be responsible for part of the engineering, automation, key equipment and commissioning. E4tech will  conduct a Life Cycle assessment to understand the environmental impacts in greater detail.