SBB 11 October 2010 The new technologies being developed for use in Europe’s Ultra-low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) projects could be used outside the region earlier than expected, Steel Business Briefing understands.
The HIsarna pilot plant currently under construction at Tata Steel Europe’s IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands could be repeated on a larger scale by 2020, according to ULCOS’ timeline. However, SBB understands that Tata hopes to bring this timetable forwards.
HIsarna combines Rio Tinto’s HIsmelt iron making technology and Corus’s Cyclone Converter. A TSE official confirms that Tata Technologies will replace Corus as co-owner of the HIsarna technology.
In addition to Europe, India or Australia could be considered for the plant, Tata officials say. Rio Tinto already has an idled 800,000 t/y HIsmelt plant in Kwinana, Australia, which could be easily converted, one Tata representative noted.
Rio Tinto did not comment on the possibility of converting the HIsmelt plant, but did say that reopening the facility was currently being considered. Although the Kwinana plant is part-owned by Nucor, Mitsubishi and Shougang, the HIsmelt technology is 100% owned by Rio Tinto and so the other companies do not have stake in it, SBB notes.
ULCOS’ Top-Gas Recycling Blast Furnace (TGR-BF) will be hosted by ArcelorMittal, another company with the option of extending the technology across its plants outside of Europe. However, officials from the company could not comment on where the technology could be applied next.
Officials from Korea’s Posco have pointed out to SBB that they already have an equivalent technology installed at their Finex plant in Pohang.