>@Anne-Cécile Auguin/EIB

On 13 March 2017 in Maizières-lès-Metz, the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the EU bank – and ArcelorMittal Group announced the signature of a EUR 350m finance contract that will help finance the Group's European research and development programme for 2017-2020. This large-scale financing operation aims to support ArcelorMittal Group's research activities and associated industrial investments in the steel industry, more specifically in the development and optimisation of new products, processes and technological solutions. By way of comparison, ArcelorMittal's global research and development costs for 2016 stood at USD 239m.

The contract was signed during a ceremony at the Maizières-lès-Metz site attended by ArcelorMittal Vice-President and Head of Finance Genuino Christino, Vice-President and Head of Research and Development Gregory Ludkovsky and EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. This was followed by a tour of the Maizières-lès-Metz research campus, which employs more than 560 researchers and is the group's largest research facility.

This financing also benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – a core element of the Investment Plan for Europe, better known as the Juncker Plan. In addition, ArcelorMittal Group has been granted financing terms tailored to the sector and the type of investment.

“Supporting innovation is a priority for the EIB – the EU bank – as it is a key driver of international competitiveness and jobs,” said Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle during his visit to Maizières-lès-Metz. “This is why we offer the financial tools with the best level of optimisation for the research and development of innovative products. With this new financing, the Juncker Plan is continuing to flourish in France with 60 operations approved to-date, which are expected to generate EUR 22bn of additional investment.”

ArcelorMittal Vice-President and Head of Finance Genuino Christino said: “I would like to thank the EIB for its support for this important project. It will enable ArcelorMittal to endeavour to keep European steel on the cutting-edge of the global industry. It serves as an important sign of recognition not only for R&D but also for the European steel industry.”

ArcelorMittal Vice-President and Head of Research and Development Greg Ludkovsky commented: “The role of our organisation, Global R&D, is to lay the technological foundations to secure ArcelorMittal's long-term viability. This financing will also enable us to realise our aims concerning new high value-added products and highly competitive production processes.”

This is the second time the EIB has provided financing for ArcelorMittal Group, bringing the Bank's overall support for European research and development activities and related industrial investment to EUR 600m.