Primetals & Midrex to Supply HBI Plant to Mikhailovsky HBI
Mikhailovsky HBI, which was jointly established by USM and Mikhailovsky GOK of Metalloinvest, signed a contract with Primetals Technologies and consortium partner Midrex Technologies Inc to supply a new Hot Briquetted Iron Plant in Zheleznogorsk in Kursk region of Russia. The plant is designed to produce 2.08 million tonnes of HBI per year. Latest design features ensure reduced energy consumption and environmental impact. The contract includes engineering, supplies and advisory services. Startup is expected in the first half of 2024.
The new plant will be the largest HBI plant in the world and is equipped with the latest design features. The plant includes a 7.15m diameter Midrex shaft furnace, a 19-bay reformer with 280mm MA-1 reformer tubes and low NOx burners for NOx reduction. An increased top gas pressure ensures higher furnace productivity and reduced power consumption. A flue gas hot fan additionally reduces electric power consumption. Also, a hot fines recycling system will be included. The level 1 and level 2 automation systems, including the DRIpax expert system, are also part of the project.
Midrex and Primetals Technologies will be responsible for engineering and supply of mechanical and electrical equipment, steel structure, piping, ductwork, as well as for training and advisory services.
The Midrex plant produces high-quality HBI from iron ore pellets using the natural gas-based Midrex Direct Reduction Process (Midrex NG) - the most environmentally friendly technology for ore-based ironmaking. Compared to traditional ironmaking technologies, the carbon footprint of a Midrex NG plant is reduced by more than 50% compared with blast furnace ironmaking. By replacing natural gas with green hydrogen there is potential to further decrease carbon emissions in the future. The contracted plant is capable of being converted in the future to use up to 100% hydrogen as a reducing agent. The feed for the new HBI plant consists of pellets produced from Mikhailovsky GOK iron ore.
Investment in the construction of the plant is estimated at over 40 bn roubles excluding VAT. The project will create around 400 highly qualified jobs in Zheleznogorsk. Mikhailovsky HBI (55% owned by USM, 45% by Mikhailovsky GOK) will implement the project based on the principles of project financing.