The Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis analysts Mr Simon Nicholas and Mr Soroush Basirat have opined that “Global steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050 yet it is building new coal-consuming blast furnaces in India. With no major breakthrough in carbon capture utilization and storage for coal-based steelmaking on the horizon, investors should be asking questions that challenge ArcelorMittal about its Indian expansion, the technology choices being made and how that aligns with the company’s 2050 net zero emissions target.” They wrote “ArcelorMittal’s plans for more coal based steelmaking in India contrasts markedly with its developments in Europe and Canada, where the company is planning a transition away from blast furnaces to direct reduced iron based steelmaking using green hydrogen under its Innovative DRI Decarbonisation pathway. They wrote “In October 2022, ArcelorMittal broke ground on its USD 1.3 billion transition to DRI-based steelmaking in Ontario in Canada, and it has similar plans in Spain, France, Belgium and Germany. ArcelorMittal’s plans for more coal-based steelmaking in India contrasts markedly with its developments in Europe and Canada, where the company is planning a transition away from blast furnaces. As a result, ArcelorMittal appears to be planning a two-speed Decarbonisation with hydrogen-ready DRI technology to be installed overwhelmingly in developed nations while the developing Global South is on the slower pathway involving more coal-consuming blast furnaces and as yet unproven CCUS technology under its ‘Smart Carbon’ Decarbonisation pathway.” They wrote “ArcelorMittal’s 60:40 joint venture AM/NS India has now begun construction of two new blast furnaces at Hazira in Gujarat, is planning a further expansion of capacity to 20 million tonnes per annum as well as new integrated steel plants at Kendrapara 24 million tonnes and Paradip 6 million tonnes in the state of Odisha. AM/NS India’s expansion plan will see two new blast furnaces, without CCUS, brought online in 2025 and 2026 with the likelihood that further blast furnaces are being planned for the Greenfield sites in Odisha. The steelmaking technology under consideration for these new sites has not been disclosed.” In IEEFA’s opinion, there is a risk to the company that the ‘Smart Carbon’ pathway could be perceived as “greenwash”, used to justify the continued installation of new blast furnaces in developing nations. This risk has heightened since the COP27 climate conference in November 2022 where the United Nations warned that company net zero emissions commitments often amount to little more than green washing while recommending new standards to hold companies to account.