Mining and metals group Vale has signed an agreement with the Port of Açu, located in Rio de Janeiro, to develop a ‘Mega Hub’ for decarbonizing steelmaking.
The hub will focus on using the direct reduction route to produce HBI.
The company said the Mega Hub will initially receive pellets from Vale and could, in the future, include an iron ore briquette plant at site to supply the direct reduction route at the industrial complex.
According to the agreement, both companies will seek investors and clients to build and operate the Direct Reduction plant using natural gas which will be available at the port, with the possibility of eventually converting to green hydrogen, producing HBI with near-zero carbon emissions.
“It is a pioneer initiative that considers a technical study co-ordinated by the Port of Açu and sectorial academics which proposes the use of HBI as partial burden in blast-furnaces...''Statement from Vale
“It is a pioneer initiative that considers a technical study co-ordinated by the Port of Açu and sectorial academics which proposes the use of HBI as partial burden in blast-furnaces, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing steelmaking productivity without needing to substitute existing assets, such as the blast-furnaces and steelworks,” Vale said.
According to Vale, HBI is currently mostly used in electric arc furnaces, with the company adding that using HBI in this type of furnace will enable a smoother decarbonization process for the Brazilian steelmaking industry.
"We believe that Brazil has a lot of potential to be a low-carbon steel making hub.''Statement from Vale
"We believe that Brazil has a lot of potential to be a low-carbon steel making hub. We have high-quality iron ore, abundant natural gas reserves and the potential to develop green hydrogen. As a Brazilian company, Vale is seeking to partner with other entities that can add value to this process,” it said.
Vale has already begun constructing Mega Hubs- industrial complexes designed to produce low-carbon steel products - in three countries in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman).