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BHP Group, ArcelorMittal trial carbon capture at Europe, US steel plants

LONDON (Reuters) - BHP Group is teaming up with steelmaker ArcelorMittal and two others to test a new technology to reduce carbon emissions in steel making at two plants in Belgium and North America.

The trials, at ArcelorMittal's Gent steel blast furnace in Belgium and another plant in North America, also involve Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG), which developed the carbon capture technology, and Mitsubishi Development Pty, another supplier of steel-making coal.

By discharging over 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, the steel industry accounts for 7-9% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

"What's really interesting in this partnership is that ... it is not a desktop exercise but a real world application in an operational plant," said BHP Chief Commercial Officer Vandita Pant.

The world's number one miner produced more than 37 million tonnes of metallurgical coal, an essential ingredient to produce steel, in the financial year to June.

Large mining companies have been partnering with technology firms and others in the supply chain to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help reduce emissions in some of the most energy-intensive industries.

BHP's partnerships, for example, also include one with India's Tata Steel, which uses biomass as a source of energy.

"There isn't a silver bullet, there isn't one path or technology for low-carbon emissions in steelmaking," Pant said.

"We are covering many different technologies and geographies with these partnerships ... to enable lower GHG emissions steel and support the reduction of carbon intensity in blast furnaces," Pant said.

(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)