Steel is one of the most widely used metal alloys in the modern world. Evidenced by the consumption of 780,000 tonnes of the French building sector in 2021 or the composition of a car, 70% steel. The steel industry today represents 1,600 billion dollars. Problem, this overconsumption contributes to global warming up to 7 to 9% of global carbon dioxide emissions. To respond to this difficulty, the largest steelmaker in the world, ArcelorMittal, is betting on Boston Metal. He has invested, January 27. 36 million dollars in the start-up specializing in the manufacture of carbon-free steel. Microsoft also took part in the funding round totaling $120 million.
A transformation of the sector?
Boston Metal is considered one of the most promising companies in “clean” steel design. It has its origins on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known by the diminutive MIT. In 2013, two professors, Donald Sadoway and Antoine Allanore published an article in the scientific journal Nature. The two acolytes proved that it was possible to generate steel without emitting carbon dioxide (CO2). They rushed to create the Boston Metal company and patent the technology.
In 2017, a third man, Tadeu Carneiro, a connoisseur of the world of steel, with experience at the Brazilian giant CBMM, joined the company as CEO. 5 years after its creation, Boston Metal has raised its first $20 million thanks to Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the climate investment company founded by Bill Gates. It was one of the Microsoft co-founder’s first investments in the sector.
For the billionaire, it is necessary to think about decarbonizing the manufacturing industry. In his book Climate: how to avoid a disaster, he declares that the focus on transport is a mistake since it generates only 16% of global emissions, against 31% for manufacturing industry.
Before his withdrawal from Microsoft, the billionaire ensured that his company achieved a negative carbon balance. By 2030, the tech giant has pledged to eliminate all of the company’s historic carbon emissions since its founding in 1975. To achieve this, the company has set up a climate innovation fund. This division invested, an undisclosed sum, in the capital of Boston Metal. The fund’s director, Brandon Middaugh, said that ” The technology Boston Metal has developed to deliver affordable green steel at scale helps drive cross-industry decarbonization, which is increasingly critical for companies with carbon reduction goals, like Microsoft. “.
For its part, AcelorMittal, valued at 25 billion euros, has invested 36 million dollars in the American start-up. According to the steel giant’s Vice President of Acquisitions, Irina Gorbounova, ” making steel without greenhouse gas emissions is not only a responsibility, but also a business necessity ” she supports the CNBC television channel.
For its third fundraiser, Boston Metal raised $120 million. This money will accelerate the production of so-called green steel at its plant in Woburn, Massachusetts. The company also plans to support its Brazilian subsidiary. In 2024, Boston Metal do Brasil will begin construction of a first steel mill, and two years later a medium-sized plant.