By Pierre Bertrand

 

The European Commission said on Thursday that it has approved state aid measures worth a combined 2.85 billion euros ($3.19 billion) to go toward decarbonizing the operations of Thyssenkrupp and ArcelorMittal.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, approved an up to EUR550 million German grant for Thyssenkrupp's Steel Europe business. It also approved a conditional payment mechanism of up to EUR1.45 billion for the German steel company.

The grant will go toward the construction and installation of a direct reduction plant and two melting units in Duisburg which will replace an existing blast furnace. Natural gas use will be eventually phased out and, by 2037, the plant will be powered by only renewable hydrogen, the commission said.

The German payment mechanism, covering the first 10 years of the new plant's operation, will cover the additional costs of procuring and using renewable hydrogen. The facilities are intended to start operating in 2026, the commission said.

Meanwhile, the commission said separately that it approved a EUR850 million French measure to support ArcelorMittal.

The funds will go toward the Luxembourg-based steelmaker building a direct reduction plant and two electric arc furnaces at its Dunkirk location.

The new facilities will substitute two of the company's three existing blast furnaces and two of the three basic oxygen furnaces at the location. As in Germany, initial use of natural gas will be phased out and replaced with renewable or low-carbon hydrogen, biogas and electricity, the commission said.

The funds for ArcelorMittal's project will be allocated in four installments during construction which is planned between 2023 and 2026. The combined facilities are envisioned operational in 2026, the commission said.

 

Write to Pierre Bertrand at pierre.bertrand@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 20, 2023 07:17 ET (11:17 GMT)

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