Replacing heavy-polluting traditional steel with “green steel” has taken a major leap forward this week, and while one breakthrough is from a private company, it has drawn the investment of global metals giant ArcelorMittal. Other U.S.-based stock exchange-listed steel operators are pushing ahead as well, posing potential investment opportunities fueled by demand from automakers and the wind-turbine sector.
Private Boston Metal on Friday announced a $120 million investment from the world’s second-largest traditional steelmaker, ArcelorMittal
climate-technology fund is pitching in, too. Boston Metal will expand production at a pilot plant in Woburn, Mass., near Boston, and help launch commercial production in Brazil. The company uses renewable electricity to convert iron ore into steel and the investment may just boost the scalability that has held green steel back. Steel is traditionally a major polluter because the intense heat it requires in production has long left the burning of fossil fuels as the only avenue to reach those temperatures. Currently, some 75% of global steel production uses a traditional method that burns through train loads of coal to heat the furnaces and drive the reaction that releases pure iron from ore. In fact, creating steel releases more atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide than any other industry, according to the International Energy Agency. Steel production alone accounts for about 8% of worldwide emissions. Steel is also is an in-demand product, key to construction, automotive manufacturing and building the machinery that powers the global economy. Opinion: The four biggest challenges of the transition to green energyDecarbonizing steel at scale The financial package by global steel giant ArcelorMittal is the biggest single investment made to date by the firm’s carbon innovation fund. “Our techno …