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Plant increases production

An image of an aerial view of the Midrex DRI plant

MIDREX DRI PLANT The success of the first plant has led to the development of a second plant to boost production

8th July 2022

By: Nadine Ramdass

Creamer Media Writer


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The record-setting MIDREX DRI plant of Tosyali Algerie was supplied by MIDREX and SMS group subsidiary Paul Wurth in 2018. This success motivated Tosyali to invest in boosting its production capacity by a further 2.5-million tons with an additional MIDREX plant to complement the existing one at its steelworks in Bethioua, Algeria. Paul Wurth, MIDREX Construction Licensee, received the order in July 2021.

“Being part of the new project for the second DRI module of Tosyali Algerie is a privilege for us. It is recognition of the quality of our previous work and of the close cooperation between our teams and the customer,” says SMS group metallurgy head Thomas Hansmann.

The direct reduction plants produce high-quality hot and cold DRI from iron-ore using the natural gas-based MIDREX Process. A standard MIDREX plant has a significantly lower carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint compared to blast furnace ironmaking.

To accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel industry, it is essential to focus on the primary stage of ironmaking, which accounts for the majority of steel production’s greenhouse-gas emissions. The MIDREX process is perfectly suited to accommodate such requirements and its flexibility enables it to progressively replace the natural gas reducing-agent with hydrogen – up to 100% – with minimal changes to the plant’s setup and operating parameters.

Therefore, SMS group, through Paul Wurth’s successful collaboration with Sunfire, supports clients towards their carbon-neutral production process targets, says SMS group technical services South Africa MD Pieter Bezuidenhout.

He explains that SMS group places special emphasis on the development and implementation of technologies promoting CO2-neutral steel production, like producing DRI by directly reducing iron-ore in a shaft furnace using green hydrogen – efficiently produced with electricity generated without carbon emissions – instead of natural gas to be further processed in an electric arc furnace.

“We are convinced that high-temperature electrolysis provides the best results owing to the lower electrical power requirement. Our Paul Wurth investment in Sunfire enables us to provide our clients with their required solutions,” adds Bezuidenhout.

Narrow Strip Mill Solution

The increasing demand in narrow strip material in the African and Asian markets, but particularly the Indian market, prompted SMS group to develop a solution through the collaboration of its experts in Germany and India.

The narrow strip mill solution plant is a low-investment concept, with a compact design and lower operation cost, while allowing for the highest plant efficiency and reliability.

Despite the high content of new technology applied, the plant is simple to operate, owing to its easy-to-operate concept, which is applied to the entire production line.

“We understand the operational and cost-pressure challenges that our clients experience on a daily basis,” says SMS group key accounts manager Dawid Louw.

Therefore, SMS group aims to provide technology to maximise product quality, yield and throughput while reducing the risk of unplanned stoppages.

Louw adds that equipment needs to be reliable, as well as easy to operate and maintain because production stoppages result in financial losses for clients.

The company designs tailored solutions and implements advanced technologies in collaboration with clients. The tailored approach allows for complete automation and digitalisation, with a focus on value addition for clients.

“As one of the world’s largest system integrators in metals processing, we combine our operational technology with the information technology of SMS digital,” Louw concludes.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features



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