ArcelorMittal joins Bill Gates programme with $100m investment
ArcelorMittal is set to inject $100 million (€85 million) to become a partner in a new programme supporting clean technologies, launched by a company founded by Bill Gates, the steelmaking giant said on Monday.
The Catalyst scheme was launched earlier this year and aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 through innovative technology to help carbon reduction.
The programme is part of the Breakthrough Energy company, set up by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, which focuses on how companies and governments can finance and produce clean technologies, including green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel.
Luxembourg-headquartered ArcelorMittal has committed to an equity investment of $100 million (€85 million) over the next five years, the firm said in a press release.
“Avoiding a climate disaster will require a new industrial revolution,” Bill Gates said. “We need to make the technologies and products that don’t cause emissions as cheap as those that do, so the whole world can afford them and reach our climate goals.”
Within the next 12 years, Europe’s steel industry must shift from coal-fired blast furnaces to low-carbon technologies to prevent global warming exceeding the Paris Agreement’s climate change targets, a report from researcher Industry Tracker said earlier this month.
Steelmakers ArcelorMittal and SSAB, headquartered in Sweden, are the most prepared for the transition because of their ability to put in the necessary capital, the report found.
ArcelorMittal signed a memorandum of understanding in the summer with the Spanish government for a €1 billion investment to build the world’s first large-scale zero-carbon steel plant.
The firm is having its most profitable year this year since the 2008 financial crisis with profits of $6.3 billion (€5.3 billion) in the first half of the year being the best in the past 13 years, ArcelorMittal said during the publication of its financial results in July.
However, the company lost its spot as the world’s largest steelmaker for the first time since 2001 after being overtaken by China Baowu Group, according to the World Steel Association's annual rankings.
Monday's announcement comes a week after ArcelorMittal said it will invest close to €677 million into expanding its iron mines in Liberia for one of the "largest mining projects" in West Africa.