Vale, Kobe and Mitsui to work on low CO2 ironmaking

Metal smelting furnace in steel mills. Stock image.

Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel said on Monday it has reached a non-binding agreement with Vale (NYSE: VALE) and Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co to collaborate in offering low-CO2 iron making solutions to the steel industry.

According to Vale, the companies will establish a new venture (NewVen) to supply low greenhouse gases solutions to the steel industry.

Kobe Steel will work with its U.S. unit, Midrex Technologies Inc, whose direct reduction ironmaking technology (DRI) uses natural gas to reduce iron ore for use in steelmaking, offering lower CO2 emissions than those produced using blast furnaces.

DRI is mainly used in electric arc furnaces as a supplement or substitute for high quality scrap and pig iron.

“Steel production, while essential for people’s daily lives, generates considerable CO2 emissions. Vale is committed to contribute with its steelmaking clients in this challenge of reducing carbon footprint.” Vale said in a release.

The NewVen will also use Vale’s Tecnored technology, which consist on developing a low carbon pig iron process through the use of energy sources, such as biomass, syn-gas and hydrogen, that emit less CO2 than the coal.

(With files from Reuters)

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