India produced 22Mt DRI in 2011, a drop of 1.45Mt (7%) from 2010 but the country still remains the world’s largest producer by a wide margin.
India’s drop in production was a result of several economic factors. First, there was a slowing of the general economic growth that has been developing for years. Although growth has continued, it was not rising as rapidly as previously anticipated. Some plants were unable to obtain as much iron ore as they needed due to governmental restrictions on mining. In addition, governmental allocations were placed on natural gas that gave higher priority to electric power generation and to ammonia (fertilizer) production than to the manufacture of iron and steel.
India has become the leading producer of DRI over the past decade due to production in a large number of small coal based rotary kilns; however, the need for better quality DRI is driving shaft furnace alternatives such as MXCOL® and Corex/Midrex. With smaller amounts of natural gas anticipated for industry use, coal-based technology options are currently being pursued by a few India steelmakers. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd is currently building a 1.8 MXCOL Plant in Angul, Orissa, India to produce syngas for use in a Midrex DRI shaft furnace. Also a 1.2 Corex plant will supply a Midrex plant with gas at Vijayanagar, Toranagallu, Karnataka State, India by Jindal South West (JSW) Projects Ltd.