Midrex Technologies Gets Large Scale DRI Plant Order from Egypt

Kobe Steel announced on Thursday the wholly owned subsidiary, Midrex Technologies got natural gas based direct reducing iron plant with 1.76 million tonnes of annual output capacity from Beshay Steel of Egypt. Midrex Technologies provides process license, design and major facilities for several billion yen. The plant is the largest project among 10 orders for Midrex Technologies since 2004. Beshay Steel will start the operation in early 2010. Midrex Technologies provides the plant with HOTLINK, in which direct reducing iron with more than 600 degrees centigrade is fed to electric furnace. With the less temperature loss, the electric furnace operation can reduce the electricity to 450 kilowatt per hour to process a tonne of pig iron, which represents three fourths of traditional electric furnace. With the efficiency, the operation is 15-20% higher productivity and 5-10% lower operation cost than traditional one. Beshay Steel has an electric furnace with 1.2 million tonnes of annual output capacity, a billet continuous caster and 3 wire rod and bar mills with total 1.65 million tonnes of capacity. The firm adds an electric furnace with 1.4 million tonnes of capacity to process direct reducing iron. The HOTLINK system is second order for Midrex Technologies, which got a series of orders since 2004, after the order in April 2006 for system with 1.5 million tonnes of annual output capacity for SHADEED Iron & Steel of Oman. The new order is also the largest capacity as the order in December 2004 for the plant for Saudi Iron & Steel (Hadeed). Kobe Steel has more than 60% of world market share in Midrex process direct reducing iron plants. Kobe Steel also developed thermal coal based reducing iron process, FASTMET with Midrex Technologies. Kobe Steel tries to commercialize the original ITmk3 process, which can make iron nugget from lower grade fine ore and thermal coal in 10 minutes.