Ukrainian mining and steel company Metinvest is studying options for the construction somewhere in the EU of a plant to process the company’s iron ore into direct reduced iron and then convert it into steel. Metinvest CEO Mr Yuriy Ryzhenkov in an interview with NV Business said “Initially, Metinvest had been considering expanding rolling capacity at its plate and coil mill Ferriera Valsider in the province of Verona, Italy, or building a finishing facility to process slab shipped from Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol. Now, with Azovstal slabs unavailable for the foreseeable future, the company is looking at shipping iron ore to the EU instead, converting it into DRI and then smelting it into steel. Routes for iron ore transportation into the EU that are already in place could be expanded if necessary.”The company had already been developing the production of DR-grade pellets at its Central iron ore mining and beneficiation complex in Dnipropetrovsk region, eastern Ukraine, since 2020, with 2021 output reaching 2.2 million tonne, and before the war it was looking to set up a 5 million tonnes per year capacity DR-grade pellet plant at its Severny, or Northern, GOK too. However, although Severny has recently tested the production of high-quality pellets, as a prerequisite of improving it further to DR-grade material, implementing the project in full requires investments, and these will not be possible while the war is ongoing.In early 2022, Metinvest said it intended to replace the majority of its blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces at its two Mariupol-based steelworks Azovstal and Ilyich with electric arc furnaces by 2040, with the first EAF and at least one DRI module expected online by 2030.