SULB orders 1.5 Mtpy MIDREX® Plant for Kingdom of Bahrain

March 31, 2010
TOKYO, March 31, 2010
Midrex Technologies, Inc. announces that it has been awarded a contract to supply a MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 million metric tons to Bahrain’s United Steel Company (SULB). The contract was signed in Bahrain on March 30.

Under the full turnkey project, Kobe Steel is responsible for the design, equipment supply, construction, and start-up of the facility, which will make direct reduced iron. Direct reduced iron (DRI) is used as a supplement or substitute for high-quality scrap in electric steelmaking. The value of the order was not disclosed.

This is the second recent order for a MIDREX Plant for the Kobe Steel Group. In December last year, Midrex Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kobe Steel, received a contract to supply MIDREX technology for a plant in India.

SULB’s direct reduction plant will be constructed in the Hidd Industrial Area in Bahrain adjacent to an iron ore pellet plant that Kobe Steel construction for Gulf Industrial Investment Co. (E.C.).  With a capacity of 6 million metric tons a year, the plant went into operation in January 2010.

Kobe Steel anticipates that the direct reduction plant contract will become effective in July 2010. The contract calls for the plant to be completed 30 months after the contract becomes effective. On this schedule, start up of the facility is aimed for early 2013.

SULB is a joint venture between Foulath in Bahrain and Yamato Kogyo Co., Ltd. in Japan. The SULB steel complex will also contain a melt shop and a heavy section rolling mill to be supplied by SMS Concast AG of Switzerland, SMS Meer GmBH of Germany, and Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. of South Korea.

“This is a very momentous occasion,” Mr. James D. McClaskey, President & CEO of Midrex Technologies, Inc. said. “Not only is this the first MIDREX® Direct Reduction plant for the Kingdom of Bahrain, but it also marks a considerably strategic steelmaking project for the Middle East region."

"We are honored that Midrex has been chosen as the preferred direct reduction technology provider and we are proud to be working with our parent Kobe Steel, Ltd. and our partners at SMS and Samsung," McClaskey continued. "We sincerely thank SULB and its shareholders, Foulath and Yamato Kogyo, for their decision to include Midrex as part of this project, and we look forward to providing the best technology solution for this project.”

World direct reduced iron production reached a record high of 68 million metric tons in 2008. Although world production in 2009 was lower, it is on an upward trend in 2010. Kobe Steel and Midrex are working to expand the use of the MIDREX Direct Reduction Process and the next-generation ITmk3® ironmaking process to provide steelmakers with a stable source of clean iron units.
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