Press Release

Paul Wurth/SMS Becomes MIDREX® Process Construction Licensee

March 10, 2014 Download

Charlotte, NC – Kobe Steel, Ltd. of Japan and Paul Wurth S.A. of Luxembourg, a member of the SMS Group, have signed a construction license agreement that enables the SMS Group to market, design and erect MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plants around the world.

Kobe Steel, Ltd. is owner of both Midrex Technologies, Inc., and the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Process — the industry’s most productive technology for making high-quality direct reduced iron (DRI) products. DRI and its derivatives, including hot briquetted iron (HBI), are a virgin iron feedstock that is often used in steelmaking applications. Increased global demand for DRI products is fueling interest in direct reduction plants worldwide.

Germany’s SMS Group is a world leader in engineering and equipment for the iron and steel industry. The MIDREX® Licensing Agreement enables SMS to add a new strength to their core capabilities that cover the full range of facilities for the metals sector. The agreement will further extend the market reach of Kobe Steel, Midrex and the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Technology.

“Paul Wurth has gained an excellent reputation in project and site management as well as in providing superb engineering services, making the company an ideal choice for a MIDREX® Construction Partner,” said Shohei Manabe, Senior Officer at Kobe Steel and head of its Iron Unit Division.

Paul Wurth S.A. joins Kobe Steel, Ltd., Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH, and Midrex Technologies, Inc. as a Construction Licensee for MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plants. Kobe Steel assigns a specific Construction Licensee to build each MIDREX® Plant around the world. The MIDREX® Process is the most widely used direct reduction process, accounting for approximately 80% of the world’s annual gas-based DRI production and 60% of the world’s total annual production.

In addition to the gas-based MIDREX® Process, the MXCOL® Process uses synthetic gas made from coal or coke oven gas in combination with a MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plant. Paul Wurth is a world leader in coke-making technology and thus brings a new and beneficial dimension to Midrex’s family of partners. MXCOL® is drawing attention in regions where abundant, inexpensive natural gas is unavailable for direct reduction.

About the SMS Group

The SMS Group unites global players in plant and machinery construction for processing steel and nonferrous metals, operating under the roof of SMS Holding GmbH. It consists of the three business areas of SMS Siemag, SMS Meer and Paul Wurth as well as other industrial participants. For more information, visit

About Paul Wurth S.A.

Paul Wurth S.A., an operating unit of the SMS Group, is one of the world leaders in the design and supply of a full range of technological solutions for primary areas of the iron and steel industry and affiliated sectors. With more than 1,500 highly-skilled staff and a vast network of international entities and affiliated companies, the Paul Wurth Group prides itself in having a solid global presence in all the major steelmaking markets of the world. For more information, visit:

About Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Kobe Steel, Ltd. is a diversified manufacturer with its major businesses concentrated on materials and machinery. The materials business comprises iron and steel, welding, and aluminum and copper products. Machinery includes industrial machinery, engineering and construction equipment, as well as environmental solutions. The company has head offices in Kobe and Tokyo, Japan. For more information, visit:

About Midrex Technologies, Inc.

Midrex Technologies, Inc. is an international process engineering and technology company providing steelmakers with commercially proven solutions for greater profitability and has been the leading innovator and technology supplier for the direct reduction of iron ore for more than 40 years. The company offers eco-friendly technologies for ironmaking that provide high productivity, outstanding product quality and cost competitiveness. Midrex has built its foundation upon the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Process that converts iron ore into high-purity direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in steelmaking, ironmaking and foundry applications. Each year, MIDREX® Plants produce about 60 percent of the world’s DRI. For more information, visit:

Sign up for Direct From Midrex
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.