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Coal|Design|Engineering|Hatch|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|PROJECT|Projects|Steel|Technology|Infrastructure
Coal|Design|Engineering|Hatch|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|PROJECT|Projects|Steel|Technology|Infrastructure
coal|design|engineering|hatch|infrastructure|iron-ore|project|projects|steel|technology|infrastructure

BHP and Hatch team up on green steel

Image shows BHP iron-ore operations

Photo by Reuters

23rd March 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner BHP has partnered with global engineering firm Hatch to design an electric smelting furnace (ESF) pilot plant in support of a decision to construct this facility in Australia.

The facility aims to demonstrate a pathway to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity in steel production using iron-ore from BHP’s Pilbara mines for BHP’s steelmaking customers. 

The small-scale demonstration plant will be used to collaborate with steel producers and technology providers to generate and share learnings with the aim of accelerating scale-up of ESF plant designs.  

The pilot facility would be intended to test and optimise production of iron from the ESF, a new type of furnace that is being developed by leading steel producers and technology companies targeting low CO2 emission-intensity steel. The ESF is capable of producing steel from iron-ore using renewable electricity and hydrogen replacing coking coal, when combined with a direct reduced iron (DRI) step. 

BHP said in a statement on Thursday that estimates show that reductions of more than 80% in CO2 emission intensity are potentially achievable processing Pilbara iron-ores through a DRI-ESF pathway, compared with the current industry average for the conventional blast furnace steel route.

The ESF allows for greater flexibility in input raw materials, addressing a key barrier to wider adoption of other lower CO2 emissions production routes, such as use of electric arc furnaces which are designed for scrap steel and high grade DRI only. The ESF also has the potential to be integrated into a steel plant’s existing downstream production units.  

The pilot facility will enable deeper and more accurate insights into the performance of this technology for converting iron-ores into molten iron and steel. Planned test programmes will help de-risk further investment in commercial-scale projects, thereby complementing development plans of BHP’s steel customers. This scale-up approach has been utilised by other industry demonstrations such as Sweden’s HYBRIT project.

BHP and Hatch will assess several locations in Australia for the proposed facility based on supporting infrastructure, technology skills and the availability of local partnerships to build and operate the facility. 

“We see the ESF process as a critical breakthrough in significantly reducing the carbon emissions intensity of steel production and one that provides an opportunity for iron-ore from our Pilbara mines. The steel industry has identified the ESF as a viable option to use a wider range of raw materials and steel companies globally are looking to build commercial-scale ESF plants as part of their CO2 emission reduction roadmaps,” BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said.


 

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Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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