Essar Hazira Ltd. relocated the two COREX plants (C-2000) from former Hanbo, Korea to their steelworks in Hazira, near Surat in Gujarat, India. The first plant has been started-up successfully in August 2011. Start-up of the second plant took place in December 2011. The COREX gas is mainly utilized at the existing MIDREX DR Modules to minimize natural gas consumption and for internal heating purposes.
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Considering the importance of environment protection, resource conservation and sustainable development in India, JSW Steel (formerly, Jindal Vijaynagar Steel Ltd) opted for COREX technology (COREX + BOF route) for its integrated iron making project. JSW Steel (India) has two COREX C-2000 and one combined COREX gas based MIDREXTM DR plant. Start-up of COREX C-2000 plant Module 01 and 02 took place in 1999 and in 2001 respectively. This process allowed greater flexibility of operation as well as use of non-coking coals as a primary fuel and raw materials of less stringent quality. Some of the special features of COREX hot metal are high temperature (1480 - 1510OC), low sulphur, low nitrogen and least amount of impurities. This has proved to be more eco-friendly as compared to the conventional blast furnace route due to the exclusion of sinter plant and coke ovens. Recycling of the most of the metallurgical wastes such as coke fines, mill scale, iron ore fines, LD slag, Limestone and Dolomite fines etc. are done as a COREX burden feedstock.
An Integrated Compact Mill (ICM), based on a COREX C-2000 plant and the Midrex DR plant was started up in mid 1999 at ArcelorMittal Steel South Africa (Saldanha Steel), situated near the west coast of South Africa. It is operated with mainly indigenous iron ores comprising SISHEN lump ore (80 - 100%), CVRD pellets (0 - 20%) and indigenous coal from the VAN DIJKSDRIFT and GROOTELUK coal districts. COREX gas from the plant is used for the production of DRI in the adjacent DR plant using a MIDREX shaft furnace
This article presents a quick review about some of the steel plants with COREX process in operation especially, as how these COREX plants were started and subsequent developments and changes brought in those COREX plants. Because of its techno-commercial and ecological advantages the COREX Process, besides the FINEX technology, is the only industrially accepted alternative to the blast furnace route for the production of hot metal. Current COREX pre-projects also indicate an existing demand for the “by-product” COREX gas for power generation and for the production of DRI. (You may also like to read: COREX Process of Iron Making - its Merits and Demerits)
The first industrial COREX C-3000 of 1.5 MTPA capacities was built at the new steel works of Baosteel in Luojing at the outskirts of Shanghai. It was the largest COREX process plant in the world which successfully generated hot metal on November 8th 2007. The plant started-up in November, 2007. The contract for a second COREX C-3000 plant (COREX Module 2) was signed in December 2007 and started-up successfully in March 2011. Both Corex plants for Baosteel in Shanghai were supplied by Siemens Metals Technologies. Module 02 was more advanced as compared to COREX Module 01 which subsequently resulted in a successful performance guarantees test shortly after start-up where all agreed performance parameters were achieved and even exceeded. A significant increase in Shaft Lifetime was achieved by BAOSTEEL COREX plant module 02 where no shaft cleaning was necessary during its operation time of 1.5 years.
This COREX plant, POSCO (COREX C-2000 – Capacity: 0.8 Mtpa), started in 1995 adjacent to five existing blast furnaces. The COREX gas was utilized for power generation. In parallel with the signature for the COREX plant contract in December 1992, POSCO and PRIMETALS started working together for the development of the FINEX process of iron making.
and a LINDE Vacuum Pressure swing Absorption plant (VPSA). Both the hot metal from COREX plant and direct reduced iron (DRI) are processed to high quality steel in a twin-shell EAF, followed by thin slab casting and direct rolling in the hot strip mill to produce high quality hot rolled coils (HRC). It is only steel mill in the world to have successfully combined the Corex / Midrex process into a continuous chain - replacing the need for coke ovens and blast furnaces, and making the plant a world leader in emission control and environmental management.
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