- Plant will produce 1.8 million metric tons of hot briquetted iron (HBI) per year
- 7-day Performance Guarantee Test (PGT) completed with 100% achievement of performance guarantee parameters
- HBI production exceeded design criteria during the PGT period
The new 1.8 million metric ton per year Midrex hot briquetted iron (HBI) plant at Lebedinsky Mining and Processing Integrated Works (LGOK), in Gubkin Russia, has announced the completion of its performance guarantee test (PGT). The plant, Midrex HBI-3, was supplied to Metalloinvest by a consortium of Primetals Technologies and Midrex Technologies, Inc. and is the facility's second Midrex HBI plant. Metalloinvest is Russia´s biggest iron mining company and the region's largest producer of high quality steel. The company is also a leading producer and supplier of iron ore and ore-based metallic iron products.
Midrex HBI-3 began commissioning in early 2017 and passed its performance test, receiving its Performance Test Certificate on June 30, 2017, with the preliminary acceptance received on March 15, 2017, and the PGT completed on May 13. Test parameters included HBI production, HBI physical and chemical characteristics, the plant's key natural gas and electricity consumption and environmental/emissions impacts. Midrex HBI-3 achieved 100% of the test parameters during the first attempt of the PGT.
Metalloinvest contracted with Primetals Technologies (formerly Siemens VAI Metals Technologies) and consortium partner Midrex Technologies, Inc. to supply the new Midrex HBI Plant as a key part of its development strategy for LGOK to strengthen the company's position in the global HBI market and significantly increase production volume of high value-added iron ore products. Metalloinvest also utilized the expanded project financing capabilities (export credit financing) of Primetals Technologies Austria and Midrex through Midrex UK, Ltd.
Midrex and Primetals Technologies were responsible for engineering and supply of mechanical and electrical equipment, steel structure, piping, ductwork, as well as training and advisory services. The Midrex plant produces high-quality HBI from iron ore pellets using the natural gas-based Midrex Direct Reduction Process (Midrex NG) - the most environment friendly technology for ore-based ironmaking. By using natural gas to make HBI, the technology is free of emissions associated with the production of coke and sinter. Additionally, HBI production displays a significantly higher energy efficiency and a significantly lower carbon footprint than traditional blast furnaces.
The first HBI module at LGOK using the Midrex Direct Reduction Process also was supplied by the Primetals/Midrex consortium in 2005 and began operation in 2007. In each of the last 5 years, the plant has operated over its 1.4 million metric tons/year design capacity, and on April 26, 2015, produced its ten millionth ton of HBI.
LGOK's HBI-3 Module will increase the company's HBI production capabilities to 4.5 million metric tons per year, strengthening Metalloinvest´s leadership in commercial HBI and boosting their world market share to more than 40%. The feed for the new HBI plant consist of pellets produced from Lebedinsky GOK iron ore.
Metalloinvest also owns Oskol Electrometallurgical Works (OEMK) (city of Stary Oskol, Belgorod region, Russia) – one of the up-to-date steelmaking enterprises in Russia employing Midrex direct reduction ironmaking technology and electric arc steelmaking rather than blast furnace production. Both produce high quality steel almost free of detrimental impurities and residual elements which is providing a stable high demand for it both in Russia and abroad.