“This is a landmark decision for European industry which will put French steel production project at ArcelorMittal steel factory at the forefront of the industry globally and safeguard hundreds of jobs,” says Frederic Hauge, President of the Bellona Foundation. To survive in a carbon constraint world while preparing for future growth, the steel industry must invest in zero carbon emitting technologies. “This is one of the lower-hanging fruits of cutting carbon emissions”, says Hauge, pointing to the higher concentration of CO2 in the flue gas from a steel mill than a coal or gas fired power plant, which brings down the cost of capture per tonne. “It’s interesting to see that the first CCS demo project to secure EU funding is one outside the power industry”, Hauge continues. “This underlines the important role CCS must play in any decarbonisation strategy, regardless of the chosen energy mix.”
The NER 300 funding scheme has been under recent criticism due to the fall in the price of emission allowances, which strongly influences the amount of funding available. But despite the low carbon price, the European Commission has been able to secure several million euros funding for CCS demonstration projects in Europe. Other projects in Holland and the UK are currently under deliberation.
“This shows how years of hard work to provide incentives and funding schemes for CCS projects start to pay off. Once we can upscale CCS technologies on power and industry projects at commercial scale, we can ripe the fruits of economy of scale to get the price of CCS down and make it a cost-competitive technology that will allow industry to reduce its carbon emissions to near-zero or even beyond”, says Hauge.