Building Our Future on 50 Years of Success

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Stephen MontaguePresident and Chief Executive Officer

Articles by Stephen
building our future

Building Our Future on 50 Years of Success

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first plant based on the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Process. A lot has happened since May 17, 1969, when a small group of engineers of the newly created Midrex Department of Midland-Ross Corporation’s Surface Combustion Division held their collective breath and awaited the first direct reduced iron (DRI) to be produced at Oregon Steel Mills (OSM) in Portland, Oregon, USA. Each of the two OSM modules was rated at 150,000 metric tons per year (t/y). Today, single modules that will produce 2.5 million t/y are in operation, and MIDREX Direct Reduction Plants annually produce more than 60% of the world’s supply of DRI.

Last year at about this time, the cumulative production of DRI by MIDREX Plants reached 1 billion tons. It took 38 years to produce the first 500 million tons but only 11 to achieve the second 500 million tons.

By the end of 2017, MIDREX Plants were operating at nearly 60 million t/y, with sufficient capacity under construction to push production to 75 million t/y by 2020. This means it could take less than 13 years to produce the second billion tons of DRI.

The early Midrex pioneers left us more than the world’s most successful technology for the direct reduction of iron oxides. They created a commitment to innovation, excellence, and service that defines who we are today. This commitment is best seen in remarkable technologies, such as Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI), MEGAMOD®-sized plants, and HOTLINK®, which have changed the industry. We are excited by our other game-changing technologies, such as ACT™ and MIDREX H2™, which make Midrex the most valuable and reliable source of iron for the global steel industry.

This issue of Direct From Midrex goes behind the scenes of the 50-year evolutionary development of MIDREX Direct Reduction Technology, which has continually responded to changing and emerging markets and expanding customer needs. Midrex has regarded each new challenge as an opportunity to better establish our direct reduction technology as the preferred means of preparing iron ores for use in steelmaking. In addition, this issue will report on the 2018 operational achievements of MIDREX Plants throughout the world.

We have come a long way from those tension-filled first days in Portland. The lessons learned along the way have taught us not to be content with success, but to continue striving for excellence. We are about pulling people together to make a difference, whether in the office, for the environment, or in the community. We are a team dedicated to serving others.