Thursday, December 29, 2011

SAIL, Kobe Steel to Form JV for ITmk3 Project Study

Tokyo, Dec 29, 2011 (JCN via COMTEX) -- The Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Kobe Steel Ltd will be establishing a joint venture (JV) company to carry out a detailed feasibility study for a commercial ITmk3 ironmaking plant in India. Provisionally called SAIL-KOBE Iron India Private Ltd, the proposed 50-50 joint venture will be headquartered in New Delhi. Utilizing Kobe Steel's ITmk3 iron making technology, the JV is expected to herald a new dawn for the Indian steel industry.
The ITmk3 technology is the latest generation iron making technology where iron nuggets are produced by using iron ore fines and non coking coal. Conventional BF route requires iron ore lumps, sinter and coking coal to produce pig iron. ITmk3 technology produces high quality iron nuggets and the technology is also environmental friendly.
The two companies have so far been jointly working on a preliminary study to utilize the ITmk3 process developed by Kobe Steel since signing a memorandum of understanding in March 2010. Kobe Steel and SAIL will now carry out the detailed feasibility study to bring about the early implementation of the project.
The project consists of one ITmK3 ironmaking plant and associated facilities to be constructed at SAIL's Alloy Steels Plant in Durgapur in West Bengal. The plant will use iron ore from SAIL's mines and will have a capacity of 500,000 metric tonnes of iron nuggets per year. Non-coking coal, sourced within India, will be used as the reductant in the ITmk3 process.
After the detailed feasibility study is completed with the environmental permits having been obtained, the plant construction would commence in 2013 at the earliest and the plant would go into operation in 2015.
Kobe Steel and SAIL will have the right to utilize the iron nuggets produced at the Durgapur plant in proportion to their equity share in the joint venture for their own use, or the joint venture may sell the nuggets directly to the market.
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