BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil
Output at Vale SAs Tubarão VII pellet plant
in Brazil will feed new direct-reduced iron (DRI) plants in the
United States, chief executive officer Murilo Ferreira said
"We will support the
revival of the North American steel industry," he said at the
Exposibram International Mining Exhibition and 15th Brazilian
Mining Congress in Belo Horizonte.
"The North American
steel industry is being stimulated by a new energy (trend)
named shale gas," Ferreira said.
The United States has
extensive reserves of natural gas trapped within shale rock
formations, and steelmakers in the country are looking for new
ways to use this low-cost energy in the steel production
process. DRI plants can use either natural gas or coal in the
iron production process and have lower operating costs than
integrated steel works.
Vale is in talks with
U.S. industry participants regarding offtake agreements,
Ferreira said, without disclosing any further details on the
Rio de Janeiro-based
Vale currently doesnt export any pellet tonnages to the
U.S. market, he said.
milliontonne-per-year Tubarão VII pellet plant, in
Brazils Espírito Santo state, is scheduled to come
on-stream by December, following a $1.08-billion investment,
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel