ArcelorMittal commissions Belgium’s largest solar PV rooftop

ArcelorMittal, a multinational steel manufacturing corporation headquartered in Luxembourg, announced the completion of the the largest solar roof in Belgium with more than 27,000 solar panels on the roof of ArcelorMittal in Ghent.

Eneco, the largest solar energy producer in Belgium, installed the 7.5 million euros solar roof at ArcelorMittal in Ghent. The park consists of 27,104 solar panels for which 157.2 tons of steel was used. The total weight of the installation amounts to 1.5 million kilos. This means that ArcelorMittal now owns the fourth largest solar park in Belgium and the largest solar roof in Belgium.

The new solar panels will produce 10.000MWh annually, equal to the energy consumption of 2,900 households. The solar panels, together with the site’s (current) 10 wind turbines and the 2 additionally planned wind turbines, will soon provide approximately 50MW of renewable power to the Ghent site. The sustainable energy that is generated is used entirely internally to feed the production of ArcelorMittal in Ghent.

The project, installed by Eneco,  will help ArcelorMittal Belgium in becoming more sustainable as the power generated will be used internally by ArcelorMittal in Ghent. More than 5,000 employees are also given the opportunity to co-invest in the solar panels and benefit from the revenues.

The 5,800 employees of ArcelorMittal Belgium who work at the sites in Ghent, Genk, Geel and Liège have the opportunity to invest in the solar panels and to benefit from the revenues. They are offered this opportunity by means of crowdlending, a loan whereby the collaborators lend money to Eneco for a period of six years. They receive a guaranteed gross return of 4 percent for their investment. Each employee can invest between 250 euros and 1000 euros to ArcelorMittal Belgium for the solar roof.

For Eneco, this is the second project, after Volvo Car Gent, in which employees can participate by means of crowdlending.

The initiative of ArcelorMittal Belgium and Eneco is in line with the Flemish Government’s Energy Vision for 2021 – 2030. This Energy Vision states that energy consumption must be significantly reduced and that the industry must be 10% more energy efficient by 2030.

With this investment, the company reinforces the implementation of its sustainability strategy.  By 2027, ArcelorMittal Belgium aims to produce 43% fewer emissions, with the ambition of being carbon neutral by 2050.

ArcelorMittal Belgium continues to work on similar projects at its sites in Liège, Genk and Geel.

Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium.

“The renewable energy generated by these 27,104 solar panels supports us in achieving our ambition to be climate-neutral by 2050. We’re fully committed to this ambition and excited to launch Belgium’s largest solar roof. Alongside our soon to be installed additional wind- turbines, we’re again taking steps in the right direction. In addition, the new solar panels are also a good example of the importance of steel in our daily lives. The panels are fixed on a framework made of steel coated with Magnelis®. The Magnelis® steel, produced at our production site in Liège among others, is a strong illustration of sustainability. It guarantees the long-term viability of each solar park, regardless of the environment in which it is located. Steel clearly is a sustainable product for a more sustainable future.”

Iwein Goigne, CEO Eneco Solar Belgium:

“If you, for example, lend 500 euros, you will earn an extra 20 euros a year. In six years’ time, the employee earns 120 euros. After the term, (s)he will recover the original investment of 500 euros as well. Through crowdlending, we want to actively involve the employees in this sustainable project. By doing so, we hope to raise their awareness about the importance of sustainable energy and reward them for their efforts. We are therefore delighted that a major industrial player such as ArcelorMittal Belgium is reflecting on its energy consumption and is actively contributing to making a greener future possible for future generations”.

Lydia Peeters, Flemish Deputy Prime Minister and Flemish Minister of Finance, Budget, Energy & Culture:

“Large renewable energy projects such as those at ArcelorMittal Belgium are necessary in order to put in place a real energy transition. It makes a big difference to a company’s energy bill, but also to the achievement of the renewable energy targets in Flanders. Many companies in the Ghent port area realize that this change of our mindsets is crucial and we are therefore pleased to see that the concrete implementation of the Energy Vision is being taken seriously.”

Koen van den Heuvel, Flemish Minister of the Environment, Nature and Agriculture:

“I am pleased that ArcelorMittal continues to focus on the reduction of CO2 reduction and energy efficiency. The investment in this new solar park is one of their projects to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. In this way, our industry is working towards a sustainable and climate-neutral society.”

Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of the city of Ghent:

“The city of Ghent and the North Sea Port are committed to renewable energy, CO2 reduction and reuse. By installing solar panels and solar parks in the cross-border port area, like at ArcelorMittal in Ghent, the port companies are generating renewable energy which is injected into the electricity grid, accounting for the equivalent of more than 31,000 households. In this way, our port is increasingly becoming a sustainable Energy Port, and together with all port companies, we are building a climate-neutral city by 2050.”

Source: Press Release by ArcelorMittal . Photo credit: © Screenshot image of video by ArcelorMittal.