Live steel mill experience for our clients
On March 2nd, a group of lucky clients were invited to the site of ArcelorMittal Dunkerque to watch live how steel is made
Participants came from three different companies including Thiévin, a manufacturer of environmental, agricultural and public works equipment, Plasmo, a laser cutting service company, and SMC which is specialised in sheet metal work (laser cutting, folding and bending services).
The day started at 9.00 am in the conference room of the plant where the participants were given a presentation of the site and the facilities – Dunkerque is a 3 blast furnaces-site that covers 450 ha with one of the biggest production capacities in Europe – completed by a general overview of our Climate action plan and the decarbonisation strategy XCarb with concrete examples of our actions and in-depth ongoing modifications of our processes to further decarbonise and achieve our carbon neutrality objectives.
The Climate Action
After a reminder of the safety rules that apply on the site, particularly in steelwork where the risks can be numerous - and because safety is and will always be our number one priority -, and once the compulsory safety equipment had been put on, the visit started.
First the scrap metal and ore yard followed by the converter and the continuous casting to create slabs. Then they went to watch the finishing phase with the hot-rolling mill and the visit ended on Mardyck to watch the galvanizing process.
photo credit: ArcelorMittal Dunkerque and Sébastien Jarry
The day before was the occasion of a nice dinner in a restaurant to break the ice before the next day’s visit, with exchanges on each other’s profession and a very interesting discussion on the CTS service and the technical added value it can bring to clients.
An event that we can call a success based on our customers’ feedback:
We were impressed by the size of the site, by the infrastructures. Everything here is out of proportion! We were able to observe the entire manufacturing process, the diversity of products, the quality, the responsiveness, as well as Arcelor’s commitment to the XCarb project, which make this site a key player in global steel production. Thank you again to the employees of ArcelorMittal Dunkerque for taking the time to welcome us and allow us to meet passionate and exciting people!
A very nice moment of conviviality during which we were able to enrich our knowledge of steel manufacturing and the means implemented by ArcelorMittal to produce "greener" steel.
Everything was very well organised, from our arrival to our departure. Very interesting exchanges with the other customers as well as with the ArcelorMittal SSC teams. And a special mention for the colleagues in Dunkirk for the presentation, the visit with clear explanations and a well thought-out organisation!
The steelmaking process explained
Steel is produced from iron ore or scrap. Iron ore is a mineral aggregate that can be converted economically into iron. The quality of the iron ore is mainly determined by its composition; a high iron content and low sulphur and phosphorus contents are favorable. Iron ore can be found all over the world, but its iron content varies. Steel scrap has been selectively collected for several decades and is recycled as a valuable raw material for steel production.
In the steel production, following stages are identified: production of pig iron; production of liquid steel; hot rolling and cold rolling; applying a metallic and/or organic coating. There are two main processes for producing steel: by means of a blast furnace (= indirect reduction) in combination with a converter, or by means of an electric furnace.
- In the former process, iron ore is the main raw material.
- In an electric furnace, scrap iron is used and occasionally also sponge iron. Sponge is an intermediate product, which is produced from iron ore by means of direct reduction (= DRI or directly reduced iron) and that is then further reduced and smelted in an electric furnace.