Under a Memorandum of Understanding, global mining company Vale and GravitHy, a consortium of companies promoting green iron and steel production, will study the viability of an iron briquetting plant to be built at Fos-sur-Mer, France, at the future site of GravitHy’s first hydrogen-based DRI production plant.
Iron ore briquettes adapted for DRI production
Vale has developed a new type of iron ore briquette that is deemed to be superior in various respects to pellets used in direct reduction plants. Tests have shown that the production of the new briquettes emits about 80 percent less CO2 than pellet production, significantly cutting Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
In the tests, the new briquettes achieved about the same metallization level as pellets. In one of the tests, the metallization rate was even higher than that of pellets. The briquettes also performed better than pellets in terms of disintegration. In the direct reduction process, a lower percentage of fines in the feedstock should result in a better gas passage and, potentially, also in less fuel consumption.
Viability examinations for iron ore briquetting plant at Fos-sur-Mer
These will be some of the aspects jointly examined by Vale and GravitHy with a view to the possible construction of a plant that will produce direct reduced iron ore briquettes as feedstock for the new DRI plant at Fos-sur-Mer. GravitHy expects construction of the 2 million t/year DRI plant to begin in 2024. Production is expected to start in 2027. Designed to use hydrogen as reducing fuel, the new DRI plant will make a significant contribution to decarbonizing steel production.
GravitHy is a consortium established in 2022 by six stakeholders from complemenatry sectors: the EU-supported sustainable energy investor EIT InnoEnergy, global energy provider Engie, hydrogen fuel cell provider Plug, supplier to the automotive industry Forvia, real estate group IDEC, and Primetals Technologies, plant and technology provider for the metals industry.
WS consistently relies on sustainable raw materials for the new properties. The buildings will be built as a timber construction and provide the base for expanded on-site renewable power generation. Wooden facades and lush greenery will also reflect the sustainable approach of the WS Group.