Jindal Steel and Power Limited are going to use a new technology for smelting iron ore by using non-coking coal in their upcoming plants in the Indian states of Jharkhand and Orissa. Jindal Steel operates a 3.0 million tons a year steel plant in Chhattisgarh state and is setting up a plant of an equal capacity in Jharkhand state.
The company will be building an integrated steel plant of 6 million tonne per annum capacity in Angul, Orissa and a 3 million tonne per annum capacity plant at Patratu, Jharkhand. A K Biruly, the Assistant Vice President at Jindal Steel and Power Limited said they would be introducing HIsmelt technology for the first time at their plants in Jharkhand and Orissa.
HIsmelt is a revolutionary new ironmaking process developed by Rio Tinto Group. Fine iron ores and non-coking coals are injected directly into a molten iron bath, contained within a Smelt Reduction Vessel (SRV), to produce high quality molten pig iron. It can be considered both as a potential replacement for the blast furnace and as a new source of low cost iron units for the electric arc steelmaking industry.
The Kwinana HIsmelt plant is owned by a Joint Venture comprising Rio Tinto (60%), Nucor Corporation (25%), Mitsubishi Corporation (10%) and ShougangCorporation (5%).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the utilization of this new technology was recently signed between the Jindal Steel and Power Limited Chairman and Managing Director Naveen Jindal and the Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto Sam Walsh. The HIsmelt process is considered the future of iron making especially in areas where coking coal and good quantity of iron ore lumps are not available.
As per the terms of the MoU the two companies will jointly develop the latter’s ‘HIsmelt’ steel making technology in India and make it commercially usable for steel plants globally. At present the steel plant is being built in Australia by Rio Tinto and its partners. It will be shifted to India.
Sushil Maroo, director of finance, Jindal Steel and Power Limited said that it was a prototype plant which was currently being built using this technology. The complete plant will be relocated to India and then JSPL will build it based on HIsmelt technology. He added that Indian companies currently do not have a technology which can optimally exploit these fines for steel making, as a result, most of the fines produced are exported currently.