The world largest HBI plant considers hydrogen as a reducing agent
Russia’s Mikhailovsky HBI (owned by USM and Mikhailovsky GOK) has commissioned Primetals Technologies and Midrex Technologies, Inc to build a new Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) plant at its site in Zheleznogorsk, Kursk region, Russia. The plant is capable of being converted in the future to use up to 100% hydrogen as a reducing agent.
The 2.08 million tonnes/year HBI plant will require over 40 billion roubles (US$ 0.5 billion) in investment. The plant will ensure reduced energy consumption and environmental impact and is expected to commence production in H1:2024.
Stephen Montague, President and CEO of Midrex, said, “We are proud of our contribution in the development of HBI production and the role that Midrex plays in helping steelmakers to decarbonise.”
Nazim Efendiev, CEO of Management Company Metalloinvest, said that “It is vital that the new plant is designed based on the principles of carbon-free metallurgy, with the prospect of fully transitioning to the use of “green” hydrogen as a reducing agent.”
He added that the project creates a strong basis for further developing “green” metallurgy and active implementation of eco-technologies of steel production in the industry.
The new plant is claimed to be the largest HBI plant in the world and would be equipped with a 7.15m diameter Midrex shaft furnace, a 19-bay reformer with 280mm MA-1 reformer tubes and low NOx burners for NOx reduction.
Using natural gas, Midrex Direct Reduction Process (Midrex NG) reduces carbon footprint by more than 50% compared with blast furnace ironmaking. Moreover, by replacing natural gas with green hydrogen, there is potential to further decrease carbon emissions in the future.