The company consists of five steel plants located in Krakow, Dabrowa Gornicza, Sosnowiec, Swietochłowice and Chorzow. It also owns the largest coke plant in Europe – ZK Zdzieszowice. ArcelorMittal Poland employs over 11,000 people; over 14,000 if all its subsidiaries are taken into account. The company produces a wide range of long, flat, special and semi-finished products for construction, transport and white goods industries.
The company has transformed Polish steelmaking. It has invested seven billion zlotys in modernising every stage of the production process. The investment is ongoing. Currently in Dabrowa Górnicza an investment programme worth 700m złotys is being carried out to reduce the plant’s environmental footprint. Its completion is scheduled for the end of this year.
The environmental offensive in Dąbrowa Górnicza concerns the steel shop, the sinter plant and the power plant of TAMEH (a joint venture of ArcelorMittal and Tauron). In case of the steel shop, the de-dusting system is being modernised and new dust removal building is being erected. The project scope involves also the installation of roof canopies the size of four tennis courts, assembled 40 m above the ground. It will allow the company to eliminate fugitive emissions from the converter bay.
The largest filters in the world
Innovative filters will be installed at sinter belts, where sinter - basic charge material for the blast furnace – is produced from iron ore. Each installation will combine a classic electrostatic precipitator with a bag filter in one device. Each belt will have two sets of such filters. “This is a very innovative solution, which in its scale is unique and has not been implemented at any sinter plant so far,” says Geert Verbeeck, CEO of ArcelorMittal Poland.
The third project is being carried out at the TAMEH plant. It’s a flue gas desulphurisation and denitrification installation. Thanks to this investment, dust emissions will be cut by 86%, SO2 by 66% and NO by 35%.
At TAMEH, top pressure recovery turbines (TRT) are also being installed, which will produce energy in an ecological way without emissions of dust or gases. Each turbine is 12.5 MW, so together they have the capacity of 25 MW. To produce the same amount of energy from natural resources, it would be necessary to burn 45,000 tonnes of coal annually, so an equivalent of 900 rail wagons. The emission would amount to 90 tonnes of SO2 and NOX and 9 tonnes of dust.
TRT turbines are the first installation of this kind in Poland. There are a few hundred of them in the world, mainly in Asia. In Europe there are merely a few dozen of them. In Dąbrowa Górnicza power plant, turbines will allow to increase the amount of energy generated without cost increase and without emissions.
ArcelorMittal’s brand promise is Transforming tomorrow; indeed, by investing over 7 billion złotys in the Polish plants, the firm has laid the foundations for the long-term future. Last year it commissioned investments worth 500m złotys in the Krakow unit including the relining of blast furnace no 5, modernisation of the basic oxygen furnace, capacity expansion of the hot rolling mill by 0.9m tonnes and increasing the hot dip galvanizing capacity by almost 0.4m tonnes per year.
At our unit in Krakow, a new line for coating steel sheets with paint will be installed at the new hot-dip galvanizing line. At the steel shop, a new pilot R&D project – for the production of new-generation electrical steel grades will be continued.
Challenges ahead of the steel industry
The most relevant challenge not only for ArcelorMittal Poland, but for the steel industry in general is the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Steel is traded globally and numerous limitations, which will result from NAP IV will impact solely European steel producers. Companies from outside the EU will not be bearing these huge additional costs of purchasing carbon credits, and will have a significant competitive advantage over European producers. ArcelorMittal wants to participate in combating the phenomenon of global warming but producers from China, India or the USA should come on board too. Otherwise the EU ETS will negatively impact the position of the European steel sector and will boil down to exporting workplaces and importing pollution. Unfortunately, the next few years will be a period of uncertainty.
The firm is one of the largest energy consumers in Poland and one of its most energy-intensive companies. ArcellorMittal is watching the energy market carefully but without any great reason for optimism. The cost of energy purchase is increased by high regulatory fees that are not applied in other EU countries. For ArcellorMittal, the problem is that energy prices do not grow as dynamically or do not grow at all in the countries in which its competitors operate.
The future of steel
85% of consumer goods have steel in them. That’s why there is an exciting future for decades to come. But to secure that future ArcellorMittal recognises that it will have to evolve, adapt and transform to meet the future expectations of its stakeholders, including its customers. Indeed, we live in incredibly fast-paced times and our world and economy is changing all the time. Only by embracing the opportunities that change brings will ArcellorMittal be able to position itself for success in the future. Industry 4.0 is also a chance for growth for a steel industry. New technologies in the steel sector will help it achieve better efficiency in production and distribution. There are many innovative solutions which ArcellorMittal has already applied in its plants or which it is aiming to apply. Successive implementation of new technologies will help the firm achieve better results.