Algerian Qatari Steel (AQS) has awarded Midrex Technologies and its consortium partner Paul Wurth, a contract to supply equipment, engineering and technical services for one of the world’s largest direct reduced ironmaking (DRI) plants.

The new natural gas-based MIDREX NG DRI plant will be located in Bellara, Algeria, 375 km east of Algiers.

AQS is a joint venture between Sider Co. and National Investment Fund (51%) and Qatar Steel International (49%). The MIDREX plant will be part of the overall steel complex that will produce 2Mt of rebar and wire rod as finished products.

The new plant will be designed to produce 2.5Mt of DRI with the capability of varying its production to produce hot direct reduced iron (HDRI) and/or cold direct reduced iron (CDRI) simultaneously without stopping production.

HDRI will be fed via an Aumund hot transport conveyor to a new EAF meltshop adjacent to the MIDREX DRI plant allowing for greater EAF productivity and energy savings; CDRI can also be produced for additional on-site use.

The new plant, says Midrex, will give AQS greater production flexibility, enabling it to produce high quality, low impurity steels as well as decrease demand for imported scrap. According to Midrex, plants using its DRI technology transport more HDRI per year and at hotter temperatures than any other commercial technology available.