Jindal Steel & Power signs MoU with Rio Tinto on advancing HIsmelt technology

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The technology smelts iron ore fines directly using non-coking coal, and offers significant economic and environmental benefits to the steel industry

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) signed an MoU with Australian mining major, Rio Tinto to jointly work towards global commercialisation of the HIsmelt technology to be used in a fully integrated steel making facility. JSPL will be introducing the HIsmelt technology for the first time in the world other than a pilot plant commissioned in Australia.

HIsmelt, short for high-intensity smelting, is the world’s first commercial direct smelting process for making iron straight from the ore. The technology smelts iron ore fines directly using non-coking coals, and offers significant economic and environmental benefits to the steel industry.  The MoU will also involve the relocation of the existing Kwinana HIsmelt plant from Australia to JSPL’s existing facility in Angul, Orissa. The relocated plant will be fully owned by JSPL, and JSPL and Rio Tinto will jointly develop and market the HIsmelt technology in future, with sharing of royalties. The MOU was signed last night in New Delhi by Mr. Naveen Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director of JSPL, and Mr. Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore and Australia, in the presence of Mr. Peter Varghese, High Commissioner of Australia in Delhi, India.

JSPL is part of the US$15 billion Indian based OP Jindal Group, currently producing 3 million tonnes steel annually and 1,800MW of power and executing two large steel plants in India (a 6 MTPA plant at Angul, Orissa and a 3 MTPA plant in Patratu, Jharkhand).

Mr. Sam Walsh described the deal with JSPL as a natural progression for the technology.  “This opportunity with JSPL is most exciting, as we integrate the HIsmelt flow sheet into their existing steel works in Angul, Orissa, an acceleration of proving of the technology to full design capacity. “We believe the HIsmelt process remains the future for iron making, particularly in locations where coking coal and good quantity of iron ore lumps are not available and where the need to reduce the environmental footprint is increasing, thereby ensuring the ongoing sustainability of this essential industry. HIsmelt is suitable to the resources of India and offers huge environmental benefits to a steelmaker like JSPL”.

Mr. Naveen Jindal said, “We are excited to tie-up with Rio Tinto for the HIsmelt technology and look forward to developing it for usage in a fully integrated steel plant.”

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