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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Middle East & Asia: August 11th 2011


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:: Rio Tinto Signs MOU with Jindal Steel and Power on Advancing HIsmelt Technology

Rio Tinto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) to take the next step in global commercialisation of the HIsmelt technology to be used in a fully integrated steel making facility.

HIsmelt, short for high-intensity smelting, is the world's first commercial direct smelting process for making iron straight from the ore. The technology smelts iron ore fines directly using non-coking coals, and offers significant economic and environmental benefits to the steel industry.

The MoU will also involve the relocation of the existing Kwinana HIsmelt plant from Australia to India at JSPL's existing facility in Angul, Orissa. The relocated plant will be fully owned by JSPL, and JSPL and Rio Tinto will work together to further develop and market the technology.

The MOU was signed in New Delhi by Naveen Jindal, JSPL chairman and managing director Naveen Jindal and Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Australia chief executive Sam Walsh in the presence of Australia's High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese.

JSPL is part of the US$15 billion Indian-based Jindal Group, currently producing three million tonnes of steel annually and 1,800 megawatts of power.

Sam Walsh described the deal with JSPL as a natural progression for the HIsmelt technology. "This opportunity with JSPL is exciting, as we integrate the HIsmelt flow sheet into their existing steel works in Orissa, an acceleration of proving of the technology to full design capacity. "We believe the HIsmelt process remains the future for iron making, particularly in locations where the need to reduce the environmental footprint is increasing, thereby ensuring the ongoing sustainability of this essential industry. "HIsmelt is suitable to the resources of India and offers huge environmental benefits to a steelmaker like JSPL."

Naveen Jindal said "JSPL has had strong interest in the HIsmelt technology for several years and now looks forward to finalising the development of this most exciting technology and to share in the future benefits."

Rio Tinto is continuing its Kwinana site obligations, some of which apply to December 2012, in accordance with conditions set by the state regulators and Invest Australia.

About HIsmelt

The HIsmelt technology is fully owned by Rio Tinto. The Kwinana HIsmelt plant is owned by a Joint Venture comprising Rio Tinto (60 per cent), Nucor Corporation (25 per cent), Mitsubishi Corporation (10 per cent) and Shougang Corporation (5 per cent).

HIsmelt smelts iron ore fines directly using non-coking coals, and offers significant economic and environmental benefits to the steel industry. Local Indian iron ore fines and non-coking coals can be used with this technology.




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