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ArcelorMittal to further cut European steel output, be carbon neutral by 2050

ArcelorMittal will further reduce primary steelmaking production in Europe amid weak market demand and high import levels in the region.

The company said May 29 that it will reduce primary steelmaking production at its facilities in Dunkirk, France, and in Eisenhüttenstadt and Bremen in Germany.

The Luxembourg-based steelmaker will also extend planned blast furnace stoppages for repair work in the fourth quarter at its Bremen plant and a plant in Asturias, Spain.

ArcelorMittal Europe Flat Products CEO Geert van Poelvoorde said the production cuts are temporary and will be reversed when market conditions improve.

"This is again a hard decision for us to have taken but given the level of weakness in the market, we feel it is the prudent course of action," Poelvoorde said.

In early May, ArcelorMittal announced a temporary reduction in its annual European primary steelmaking production by 3 million tonnes.

Separately, in its first climate action report, released May 29, ArcelorMittal said it plans to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions globally and be carbon neutral in Europe by 2050.

The company noted that it will launch a "target to 2030" in 2020, which will replace the current target of an 8% carbon footprint reduction by 2020 against a 2007 baseline.

ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said the company is piloting several low-carbon steelmaking technologies, but more supportive policies are needed to significantly reduce carbon emissions globally.

"We will need a more supportive policy environment that considers the global nature of steel, the cost implications of significantly changing the way steel is made and the clean energy supply needed to do so," Mittal said.