Global direct reduced iron (DRI) production eclipsed 100Mt in 2019 for the second consecutive year and set a new production record for the fourth consecutive year, according to 2019 World Direct Reduction Statistics.

The annual publication of direct reduction industry data and information is compiled by Midrex Technologies, Inc. and audited by World Steel Dynamics.

DRI output was up 7.3% over 2018 production to 108Mt. Since 2015, world DRI production has increased 35.5Mt tons, or nearly 49%.

While there was no large scale direct reduction capacity contracted in 2019, the start-up of Algerian Qatari Steel (AQS) in Algeria and Cleveland Cliffs in the USA will add 4.4Mt of capacity in 2021.

Meanwhile, in Iran, Pasargad has reported starting up a 1.5Mt/yr Midrex plant last year and there are eight other projects (including six in Iran) at various phases of execution (with a total capacity of 7.55Mt). DRI production in Iran reached a record 28.5Mt (up 10.9% over 2018) – and all from natural gas-based products.

India was recorded as the number one DRI producer worldwide last year.

Vincent Chevrier, general manager, business development, at Midrex commented: "2019 was another record-breaking year for DRI production, exceeding the previous year by 8%. The increase came from Indian’s rotary kiln, Iran and Algeria where Tosyali Algerie ramped up their 2.5Mt/yr Midrex module. The year was marked with shortage in traded iron ore pellets. DRI producers who have access to captive iron ore increased production whereas producers who rely on traded pellets had to limit output. “

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