Press Room

Primetals Technologies and Midrex Technologies sign contract with Mikhailovsky HBI for world´s largest HBI plant

28 February 2021

A hot briquetted iron (HBI) plant in Zheleznogorsk, Kursk region, will be built through a consortium of Midrex, a leading global supplier of direct reduction ironmaking technology, and Primetals, an engineering company.

The project operator is Mikhailovsky HBI, which was jointly established by USM and Mikhailovsky GOK (part of Metalloinvest). The company signed a contract with a consortium of Midrex Technologies and Primetals Technologies for supply of equipment for the new plant. The contract includes engineering and supply of mechanical and electrical equipment, steel structure, piping, ductwork, as well as for training and advisory services.

The agreement was signed by Pavel Mitrofanov, Deputy CEO of USM; Stephen Montague, President and CEO of Midrex; Etsuro Hirai, Chief Technology Officer of Primetals Technologies and CEO of Primetals Technologies Austria; and Aashish Gupta, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Business Unit – Upstream. Startup is expected in the first half of 2024.

Investment in the construction of the plant is estimated at over 40 bn roubles excluding VAT. The project will create around 400 highly qualified jobs in Zheleznogorsk. The plant is designed to produce more than 2 million metric tons of HBI per year.

Latest design features reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

Ivan Streshinsky, CEO of USM, said: “This is the start of an important project for the Russian metals and mining industry that will further strengthen our country's leadership in the global market for HBI, the base product for the green steelmaking of the future. One of the world's largest HBI plants will be built and commissioned in close technological cooperation with Metalloinvest.”

“Previously we have successfully completed HBI 2 and HBI 3 at Lebedinsky GOK. That Primetals Technologies and Midrex have been selected by Mikhailovsky HBI as the technology supplier underscores trust in expertise of our specialists and in our solutions,” Etsuro Hirai, CEO of Primetals Technologies Austria said. “This project will include all the latest technological features and will be one of the largest and most modern HBI plants in the world.”

“Mikhailovsky HBI project will help fill the growing demand for low CO2 metallics that our industry desperately needs,” Stephen Montague, President and CEO of Midrex said. “We are proud of our contribution in development of HBI production and the role that Midrex plays in helping steelmakers to decarbonize.”

Nazim Efendiev, CEO of Management Company Metalloinvest, said: "Metalloinvest is the world leader in the market for merchant HBI. In 2020, almost 4.8 million metric tons of briquettes were shipped from Lebedinsky GOK. The Company will bring its accumulated experience in organising HBI production processes to ensure successful implementation of the project.

Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK will be a supplier of high-quality iron ore pellets for the new plant. It is vital that the new plant is designed based on the principles of carbon-free metallurgy, with the prospect of fully transitioning to the use of "green" hydrogen as a reducing agent. This project creates strong basis for further development of “green” steelmaking and active implementation of eco technologies of steel production”.

The new plant will be equipped with the latest design features, including high productive shaft furnace with reduced power consumption and increased top gas pressure, a reformer with NOx burners for NOx reduction, à flue gas hot fan for additional reduction of electric power consumption, a hot fines recycling system, intellectual automation systems, including the DRIpax expert system.

The plant produces high-quality HBI using the natural gas-based Midrex NG – the most environmentally friendly technology for ore-based ironmaking. Compared with blast furnace ironmaking, the carbon footprint of a Midrex NG plant is reduced by more than 50% By replacing natural gas with green hydrogen there is potential to further decrease carbon emissions in the future.

Mikhailovsky HBI (55% owned by USM, 45% by Mikhailovsky GOK) will implement the project based on the principles of project financing.

Download PDF (2.95 Mb) MHBI Presentation
Anton Troshin

Anton Troshin

Corporate Communications Director
Tel.: +7 (495) 981-55-55

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