Direct-reduced iron (DRI) output could exceed 200 million
tonnes annually between 2025 and 2030 as global gas-based
metals production increases, according to Midrex Technologies
World DRI production
stood at 74 million tonnes in 2012. That was up 1 percent year
on year as relatively new plants started ramping up to
capacity, Charlotte, N.C.-based DRI technology provider Midrex
said in early July.
The sluggish growth
was mainly due to raw materials disruptions in India, the
worlds largest DRI-producing country.
Iron ore shortages due
to regional mining bans and higher natural gas prices due to
increased demand saw Indias DRI production fall 9 percent
year on year to 20.05 million tonnes in 2012.
however, world DRI output grew 5.3 percent in 2012, although
the slow recovery from the global financial crisis in some
advanced economies and political strife stifled the growth,
according to Midrex.
However, increases in
natural gas supplies and improvements in shale gas production
technologies are likely to accelerate growth in DRI output in
the longer term, it added.
"The movement to
monetize the penalties for (carbon dioxide) generation is
gathering momentum, and within the next decade or so is
expected to have a worldwide (impact) as more integrated mills
will begin to use (hot-briquetted iron)," Midrex said.
In North America,
low-cost shale gas is already leading companies to boost DRI
capacity, with Charlotte-based Nucor Corp. due to start output
at its 2.5-million-tonne-per-year DRI plant in Louisiana in the
Many shaft furnace
plants are under construction and due to add 20 million tonnes
of DRI output in 2013-14.
The average increase
in DRI output is likely to be 5 million to 6 million tonnes per
year between 2013 and 2015, Midrex estimates, adding that
political and economic factors in the plant locations might
make it difficult to maintain start-up schedules.
Irans Gol Gohar
Iron Ore Co. and Egypts Ezz Steel Co. SAE are among the
many companies in the Middle East and North Africa region
eyeing near-term DRI output.
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel