The Rio Tinto Group decided to ship its steel making equipments based on HIsmelt technology from its plant at Kwinana, Australia to the Chinese steel maker Molong as the latter has a more urgent need for the technology.
It may be recalled that the Australian miner earlier agreed to shift the equipment to India at Jindal Steel and Power’s (JSPL) existing facility at Angul in Orissa.
Owing to environmental concerns, MolongÂ’s normal supplies of liquid pig iron have been stopped and it is not allowed to build conventional blast furnaces. For environmental reasons, HIsmelt is the only technology capable of producing liquid pig iron at the required capacity and environmental standard, Nik Senapati, Managing Director of Rio Tinto India said.
JSPLÂ’s deputy managing director and chief executive (steel business) V. R. Sharma said bringing the plant to India involved making Â“too many changesÂ” and therefore, it had to go to a Chinese company as Â“a pilot plantÂ”.
The plant has a small capacity at 0.5 million tonnes (mt). JSPL wanted to upgrade it, Sharma said.
After the pilot run in China, JSPL will build a plant at its Angul site with the HIsmelt technology with a capacity of 1 mn t or 1.2 mn t, Sharma said. This is envisaged for construction in 2015, with production starting in the following year.
A consortium has been formed by JSPL, the Chinese company and Rio Tinto and stakes in the pilot plant in China are now being worked out, Sharma said.