Finnish industrial machinery company Metso has bagged an eyebrow-raising order to deliver a straight grate pellet plant for JSW Steel Ltd’s Vijayanagar steelworks – the world’s sixth largest steel plant with one of the most efficient conversion costs globally.
The 8 MnT pellet plant includes grinding, filtration and a pyro-processing plant and is tailor-made for large-scale operations. The new order is Metso’s largest global pellet plant delivery, and the single largest installation for Metso 2040-60 Vertical Plate Pressure Filters VPA, which are used in heavy-duty dewatering applications.
With an eye on increasing its crude steel production capacity to an ambitious 40 MnT by 2025 from the present 18MnT, JSW is looking to increase its pellet feed in iron making by up to 60%.
Presently the steel behemoth operates pellet plants with a combined capacity of 13 MnT – ۹ MnT in Vijayanagar and 4 MnT in Dolvi. Metso’s pellet plant, scheduled to be installed at the 10,000-acre Vijayanagar plant next year, would undoubtedly bolster JSW’s declared objective of achieving 50 MnT pellet producing capacity in the not-too-distant future.
Moreover, JSW Techno Projects Management Ltd, a JSW Group firm, had signed definitive agreements to acquire a 49 per cent equity stake in Brahmani River Pellets Ltd, which operates a 4 MnT pellet plant at Jajpur in Odisha.
Explaining the need to cut down on sintering and prioritizing pellets as BF feed, a senior official at JSW Steel, told SteelMint: “Indian iron ore is characteristically rich in alumina, which makes sintering extremely difficult. Moreover, sintering inevitably increases a steelmaker’s carbon footprint. We are, therefore, seeking to focus exclusively on pellets as BF feed.”
The quality of hot metal produced is also a crucial consideration. “The goal is to reduce the slag in the hot metal and thereby boost productivity. This objective is fulfilled by increasing the pellet feed,” he clarified.
India has an installed pellet capacity of around 85 MnT and production of about 60 MnT.
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