Canadian Manufacturing

Algoma Steel announces investment decision for electric arc steelmaking

Dual furnaces to provide more liquid steel to match downstream finishing capacity.

November 11, 2021  by CM Staff

SAULT STE. MARIE — Algoma Steel Group Inc., a Canadian producer of hot and cold rolled steel sheet and plate products, announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the Company to construct two new electric-arc-furnaces (EAF) to replace its existing blast furnace and basic oxygen steelmaking operations. The transformation is expected to reduce Algoma’s carbon emissions by approximately 70%.

Following the transformation to EAF steelmaking, Algoma’s facility is anticipated to have an annual raw steel production capacity of approximately 3.7 million tons, matched to Algoma’s downstream finishing capacity, and is also anticipated to include new vacuum degassing capability to expand Algoma’s offering of steel plate grades.

“We believe that today’s strategic decision to transition Algoma to electric arc steelmaking represents a win for all of our stakeholders. It is designed to transform Algoma into a more agile and profitable company, positioned for long-term growth as an economic driver and employer of choice in our community. Once complete, it is projected to deliver three million tonnes of annual CO2 reduction, placing the project among the highest impact investments in greenhouse gas reduction in Canada,” said Michael McQuade, Algoma’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Board’s decision recognizes that Algoma’s sustainability and Canada’s path to net zero carbon emissions are aligned. You cannot get to net zero without steel, and in becoming a leading provider of green steel in North America, Algoma intends to be part of the solution.”

“Today’s decision is the outcome of hard work and decisive actions over the past two years,” Algoma Board Chair Andrew Harshaw added. “As a Board, we have a duty to carefully evaluate investments that may benefit long-term growth and create value. We believe that we have done so and are confident about the significant benefits that this transformation is expected to bring for the Company and its stakeholders. I congratulate Mike and the whole Algoma team for arriving at this exciting milestone.”

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The Company plans to invest approximately CDN$700 million in the EAF transformation, funded with previously announced financing commitments and the proceeds related to the Company’s recently completed merger. Algoma anticipates a 30-month construction phase for the EAF facility, coming online in 2024, and expects to transition away from blast furnace steelmaking thereafter as more electric power on the grid supplying Algoma becomes available.

Algoma is also partnering with regional academia to create a system of multi-generational supports to provide new skills training to Algoma’s current employees and to build career pathways for regional youth in (STEM) subjects and the trades in preparation for the advanced manufacturing jobs of tomorrow.


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