News and Press Releases

London, November 17, 2016

World´s largest HBI plant from Primetals Technologies and Midrex begins operation at voestalpine in Texas

  • Plant will produce two million metric tons of hot briquetted iron (HBI) per year
  • Order volume was in the three-digit million euro range

On October 26, the direct reduction HBI plant built by Primetals Technologies and consortium partner Midrex Technologies, Inc. was officially started-up in the presence of the voestalpine board after an effective construction phase of about two years. The Midrex direct reduction plant, located near the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA on the Gulf of Mexico. It is designed to produce two million metric tons of hot briquetted iron (HBI) per year, making it the largest single module of this type world-wide. The three-digit million euro range order was awarded to Primetals Technologies and Midrex Technologies Inc. in July 2013.

The consortium of Primetals Technologies and Midrex were responsible for engineering, supply of mechanical and electrical equipment and advisory services for the direct reduction plant. At the site near Corpus Christi in San Patricio County, voestalpine invested a three-digit million euro amount. This also included comprehensive infrastructure improvements for the project location, particularly the necessary port facilities.

The Midrex facility will produce high-quality HBI from iron ore pellets, which is comparable to the highest quality scrap or pig iron. Being charged to electric arc furnaces, converters or blast furnaces, HBI allows for the production of highest-quality steel grades. In contrast to the coal-based blast furnaces route, direct reduction only uses natural gas as the reducing agent, which is much more environmentally-friendly. This improves the carbon footprint of the voestalpine Group and is an important step in the achievement of the Group's energy efficiency and climate protection objectives.

MIDREX is a registered trade mark of Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Midrex direct reduction HBI plant of voestalpine near the city of Corpus Christi, Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. The largest single module of this type world-wide was built by Primetals Technologies and consortium partner Midrex Technologies, Inc. and was officially started-up at the end of October (Photo courtesy of voestalpine).

Primetals Technologies, Limited headquartered in London, United Kingdom is a worldwide leading engineering, plant-building and lifecycle services partner for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product and service portfolio that includes integrated electrics, automation and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain, extending from the raw materials to the finished product – in addition to the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens. Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM) - an MHI consolidated group company with equity participation by Hitachi, Ltd. and the IHI Corporation - holds a 51% stake and Siemens a 49% stake in the joint venture. The company employs around 7,000 employees.