MONROVIA – Established industry leaders in Europe’s steel manufacturing sector early this year made a set of key declarations on their paths towards low-carbon and net-zero production.
With this commitment, countries, cities and companies in the European Economic Zone are increasingly obligated to reach net zero by 2050–which means removing as much CO2 they produce in their respective productive capacities to limit global warming.
Europe is transitioning to decarbonized steel production because scientific evidence suggests that millions of people are already suffering from the catastrophic effects of extreme disasters exacerbated by climate change– from prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa to devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
This decision by the EU to reduce the risk of warming places a compelling need on companies like ArcelorMittal, the second largest steel producer in the world to develop short- and medium-term emission reduction goals, consistent with the Paris Agreement, set all over the globe to eliminate the worst impacts of climate change this decade.
With AML’s Phase Two Expansion Project incorporating the construction of a mega iron ore processing plant in Liberia’s Nimba County, the company is prepared to in this phase invest heavily into installing new low-carbon manufacturing technology and closing high-emissions blast furnaces from its Liberia operation.
It is this investment by AML combined with the needed modern mining technologies that will ensure the production of good quality low carbon steel which is acceptable for sustainable development and other parts of the world.
Ideally, AML’s phase II expansion has the potential to make Liberia a meaningful player in the EU decarbonized steel market.
Decarbonized ore has become the future due to its energy savings, fewer accidents, decreased congestion, and reduced negative health effects of air pollution, which outweigh the initial higher expenses of moving to electric cars and creating infrastructure for zero-emission public transportation.
It would be nothing but important that ore from Liberia is of such quality that can be accepted not just by global steel demand, but also that fact that it contributes to reducing the impact of one of the significant challenges confronting the human race today-Climate Change.
This kind of global reputation in mining is what countries like Liberia need to attract ideal foreign direct investment which can help solve the problems of job creation and poverty reduction.
ArcelorMittal including its subsidiaries is the world’s leading integrated steel and mining company, with annual achievable production capacity of approximately 114 million tonnes of crude steel.
It is the company with the right international reputation to get Liberia to this feat given its more than 16 years of responsible business interaction in Liberia.
In fact, the European Union itself has expressed optimism that Liberia would become a vital supplier of iron ore for the “decarbonized steel market in the European economic zone”.
Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, who is head of the EU delegation to Liberia, earlier this year, noted that once the third revision to the mineral development agreement with ArcelorMittal and the government of Liberia is fixed, Liberia would benefit from the greatest foreign direct investment in recent years.
Ambassador Laurent Delahousse made this submission at the 10th EU-Liberia Political Dialogue in Monrovia which was co-chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah Sr.
The EU envoy also stressed that when AML expands, “Liberia can be able to enhance the value of what it currently produces” by building a concentrator to increase the iron ore’s value before export and make Liberia an important country in the worldwide steel market.
The AML phase two expansions goes far beyond local jobs provision, increase in corporate social contributions and also stands out to make Liberia meaningful in Europe’s Market Zone.