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Voestalpine signs up partners for HBI facility

Keywords: Tags  voestalpine, hot-briquetted iron, HBI, direct-reduced iron, DRI, Corpus Christi, Ahmsa, Midrex Siemens

NEW YORK — Austria’s Voestalpine Group has signed a supply agreement with Siemens Industry Inc. and Midrex Technologies Inc. to build a 2-million-tonne-per-year hot-briquetted iron (HBI) facility for the steelmaker in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Pending receipt of final official permits, the companies will provide engineering, mechanical and electrical equipment, along with consulting services related to the plant, the Austrian firm said July 4.

"With Siemens and Midrex, we will have highly competent partners with a tried and tested technology at our side," Wolfgang Eder, chief executive officer and chairman of the management board of Voestalpine AG, said in a statement. "By choosing a U.S. partner company, we are also making a significant contribution to the desired local value added."

The new facility will be located on about 500 acres on Corpus Christi Bay and have direct deep-sea access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Voestalpine first announced that it was constructing a €550-million ($711.7-million) alternative iron plant in March, targeting an operational date by 2016 (, March 13).

When completed, the plant will be able to produce 2 million tonnes of HBI annually rather than a combined output of 2 million tonnes of both HBI and direct-reduced iron (DRI), as originally announced, a spokesman told AMM in an e-mail July 5.

The Linz, Austria-based company said in May it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Altos Hornos de México SAB de CV (Ahmsa) to sell Mexico’s largest integrated steelmaker several hundred thousand tonnes of HBI annually (, May 29).

Voestalpine said at the time that half of the alternate iron plant’s output would be shipped to the parent company’s steel mills in Linz and Donawitz, Austria, while the remainder would be sold to partners interested in a long-term supply arrangement.

"Negotiations are underway with numerous other interested parties, and some negotiations have already entered an advanced stage," the company said.

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