Tag Archives: pellets

Metso Outotec to deliver India’s first large scale Grate-Kiln iron ore pellet plant

Metso Outotec has signed a contract with an Indian customer for the supply of a large capacity Grate-Kiln pellet plant in the State of Odisha, India.

The contract is booked in the Metals business line March quarter orders received. Typically, the value for this type of an order is in the range of €30-40 million ($35.6-47.5 million), depending on the scope of delivery.

Metso Outotec’s scope of delivery includes basic engineering and process technology for the Grate-Kiln pellet plant, including the core proprietary equipment consisting of traveling grate, kiln and cooler, as well as supervisory services for commissioning, and spare parts.

“The energy-efficient Metso Outotec Grate-Kiln process produces pellets of uniform quality with low emissions, high availability, and it has low investment and operating costs,” Jari Ålgars, President, Metals business area at Metso Outotec, said. “With its annual pellet production capacity of 6 Mt, the new plant will be the first large scale Grate-Kiln pellet plant in the country.”

LKAB plots carbon-free pathway with direct reduced iron switch

LKAB has presented its new strategy for the future, setting out a path to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its own processes and products by 2045, while securing the company’s operations with expanded mining beyond 2060.

Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB, said the plan represented the biggest transformation in the company’s 130-year history, and could end up being the largest industrial investment ever made in Sweden.

“It creates unique opportunities to reduce the world’s carbon emissions and for Swedish industry to take the lead in a necessary global transformation,” he said.

The strategy sets out three main tracks for the transformation:

  • New world standard for mining;
  • Sponge iron (direct reduced iron) produced using green hydrogen will in time replace iron ore pellets, opening the way for a fossil-free iron and steel industry; and
  • Extract critical minerals from mine waste: using fossil-free technology to extract strategically important earth elements and phosphorous for mineral fertiliser from today’s mine waste.

The transformation is expected to require extensive investments in the order of SEK10-20 billion ($1.2-2.3 billion) a year over a period of around 15 to 20 years within LKAB’s operations alone. The company said the new strategy was a response to market developments in the global iron and steel industry, “which is undergoing a technology shift”.

The move could cut annual carbon dioxide emissions from the company’s customers worldwide by 35 Mt, equivalent to two thirds of Sweden’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions, it said.

Developments under the HYBRIT project, in which SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall are collaborating on a process to enable the reduction of steel from iron ore using hydrogen instead of carbon, will be keenly observed following the miner’s announcement.

On top of this collaboration, LKAB is working with Sandvik, ABB, Combitec, Epiroc and several other industry leaders to develop the technology that will enable the transition to fossil-free, autonomous mines, it said.

Moström added: “The market for iron and steel will grow and, at the same time, the global economy is shifting towards a carbon-free future. Our carbon-free products will play an important part in the production of railways, wind farms, electric vehicles and industrial machinery.

“We will go from being part of the problem to being an important part of the solution.”

The market for steel is forecasted to grow by 50% by 2050. This growth will be achieved by an increase in the upgrading of recycled scrap in electric arc furnaces, according to LKAB. Today, the iron and steel industry accounts for more than a quarter of industrial emissions and for 7% of the world’s total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to an IEA report.

The company said: “The global market price for recycled scrap is now twice that of iron ore pellets. The carbon-free sponge iron that will in time replace iron ore pellets as LKAB’s main export product is suitable for arc furnaces, allowing the company to offer industries throughout the world access to carbon-free iron.”

Moström said the switch from iron ore pellets to carbon-free sponge iron was an important step forward in the value chain, increasing the value of its products at the same time as giving customers direct access to “carbon-free iron”.

“That’s good for the climate and good for our business,” he said. “This transformation will provide us with good opportunities to more than double our turnover by 2045.”

During the transformation period, LKAB will supply iron ore pellets in parallel with developing carbon-free sponge iron.

To reach the new strategy’s goals, rapid solutions must be found for various complex issues, according to the company. These include permits, energy requirements and better conditions for research, development and innovation within primary industry.

Moström said: “Our transformation will dramatically improve Europe’s ability to achieve its climate goals. By reducing emissions primarily from our export business, we will achieve a reduction in global emissions that is equivalent to two-thirds of all Sweden’s carbon emissions. That’s three times greater than the effect of abandoning all cars in Sweden for good.

“It’s the biggest thing we in Sweden can do for the climate.”

Göran Persson, Chairman of the Board of LKAB, said: “What Swedish industry is now doing, spearheaded by LKAB, is to respond to the threatening climate crisis with innovation and technological change. In doing so, we are helping to secure a future for coming generations. This will also create new jobs in the county of Norrbotten, which will become a hub in a green industrial transformation. Succeeding in this will create ripples for generations to come. Not just here, but far beyond our borders.

“Now we are doing, what everyone says must be done.”

Paterson & Cooke floats new port concept by Zanaga Iron Ore

Zanaga Iron Ore says a concept study on the viability of using a floating dewatering, storage and offloading (FDSO) port facility shows the potential for a $184 million reduction in capital costs for the 12 Mt/y Stage One development at the Zanaga iron ore project in the Republic of Congo.

Following an approach in 2019 from a leading engineering procurement and construction (EPC) company specialised in the development of floating mooring and operating facilities, in recent months the Zanaga project team has been actively investigating the potential to use an offshore floating port instead of the transhipping solution envisaged in the 2014 feasibility study, the company said. This transhipping solution involved Zanaga’s slurry pipeline terminating at the coast of the Republic of Congo, whereby the slurry material would be dewatered in a coastal based location north of Pointe Noire.

Zanaga is planned as a large scale iron ore mine, processing and infrastructure operation to produce 30 Mt/y of high-grade iron ore (pellet feed) concentrate over a 30-year life of mine, to be developed in two stages. Stage One consists of 12 Mt/y of pellet feed, with the Stage Two 18 Mt/y expansion to 30 Mt/y of pellet feed.

The feasibility study envisaged a slurry pipeline for transport of iron ore concentrate from the mine to the port facilities, with the port facilities and infrastructure for dewatering and handling of the iron ore products located within a proposed third-party constructed port facility.

According to the latest concept study, the floating port solution could provide a number of advantages both technically and economically over previous solutions.

“The solution involves extending Zanaga’s slurry pipeline straight out into the ocean, with significantly reduced land-based facilities,” the company said. “The pipeline would run along the ocean floor to a fixed mooring point where the pipeline would connect to the FDSO vessel.”

The slurry would be processed onboard by a dewatering plant and the pellet feed concentrate would be stored within the vessel. Offloading facilities would be built into the vessel to allow the FDSO to load cape size vessels directly. By utilising the FDSO, Zanaga’s materials handling steps would be reduced to only three phases, providing significant efficiencies and a more seamless operation, the company said.

The FDSO evaluation process has been led by Paterson & Cooke, leading experts in slurry pipeline design and engineering. P&C has completed a concept level report involving a comparison of the three port solutions available for the Zanaga project, namely transhipping, deep water port, or the new FDSO port, Zanaga said.

“The results of the investigation have been very positive from a technical and economic perspective,” the company said. “Potential has been indicated for a $184 million reduction to total capital costs of the 12 Mt/y Stage One project, resulting in a reduction of total capital cost from $2.219 billion to $2.035 billion.”

While the study was conceptual in nature, it compared favourably with the transhipping and deep water port options the company had previously weighed for the project, it said. The capital cost associated with the FDSO was $111 million, compared with $295 million for the transhipping option and $899 million for the deep water port.

On top of this, operating costs are expected to be maintained at around $6.50/t due to previously high transshipping costs being substituted by a lease cost to the EPC contractor providing the solution, it said.

Clifford Elphick, Non-Executive Chairman of Zanaga Iron Ore, said: “This evaluation exercise demonstrates the clear potential of a floating port facility to enhance significantly the economics of the Zanaga project through the reduction of upfront capital costs and enhanced internal rate of return.

“In addition, there is potential to achieve significant ancillary technical benefits such as reduced environmental impact, elimination of dredging, and significant flexibility on coastal route selection.”

On top of this development, Zanaga said the project team had made progress on evaluating the early production project (EPP) potential of the asset.

Having ditched plans to explore a logistics route through Gabon, it said the team was now evaluating a range of capacities from 1-5 Mt/y involving optimising process plant design and reviewing in-country logistics solutions for an upgraded truck and rail solution using upgraded road and rail infrastructure within the Republic of Congo.

“In terms of power supply, heavy fuel oil is available in RoC in sufficient quantities to support such a project and pricing has been obtained from the national oil company allowing the project team to evaluate the viability of such an option to support the EPP’s power consumption requirements,” the company said.

“In addition, potential hydropower sites have also been identified in the area of the future mine. One site located 70 km to the north on the Ogooué river site seems promising, with a potential capacity of 20 MW to 40 MW.”

A detailed study is underway to further evaluate the potential of the site, it added.

“The project team continue to evaluate the potential for the EPP to operate as a standalone project, or as an initial pathway to production during the construction period of the 30 Mt/y staged development project,” it concluded.