Strategies for Implementing Direct Reduction Technologies in an Integrated Steel Plant
The rapid increase in the natural gas (NG) supply base and subsequent decrease in its price has renewed interest in the production of direct reduced iron (DRI) in North America. In late 2013, Nucor started up a new 2.5- Mt/a ENERGIRON® direct reduction (DR) plant in Louisiana to supply DRI to its U.S.-based electric arc furnace (EAF) plants. In Texas, voestalpine is constructing a 2.0-Mt/a Midrex® direct reduction plant that will start up in 2016 and deliver hot briquetted iron (HBI) to voestalpine’s blast furnace plants in Austria and sell the balance of the HBI to the marketplace. Other steel companies are considering DRI production to take advantage of low NG prices and to provide strategic production and cost advantages.