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Showing posts with label Finex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Finex. Show all posts

Development of FINEX Process and Steel Plants with FINEX in Operation

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In the present article we give a brief data about how the FINEX process evolved from COREX technology, FINEX plants were started and subsequent developments and changes brought in those FINEX plants with their effects besides, the steel plants with FINEX process in operation (existing & upcoming FINEX Plants). Also Read: 

FINEX® Process, smelting reduction technology of iron making - Features, Merits and Limitations     

Development of FINEX Process and FINEX Plants

The FINEX is the latest addition and an optimized fine-ore smelting reduction (SR) process of iron making developed by POSCO that can be considered as an offshoot of COREX technology. In December 1992, POSCO and Primetals Technologies signed a cooperation agreement for the joint development of the FINEX Process. The first FINEX plant with a pilot scale production was started on November 14th 1995. In 2002 POSCO converted one the existing COREX plant into FINEX F-0.6M demonstration plant with a nominal capacity of 0.6 MTPA hot metal production, which commenced operation in May 2003. In July 2014, POSCO stopped the operation of this plant and at present it is in the final stage of agreement with an Indian steel maker for its reinstallation in India (discussed  under Upcoming FINEX plant in India).

Having successful results and following optimization of equipment and process parameters, POSCO decided to install the industrial FINEX F-1.5M Plant (1.5 MTPA production capacity). The work was started to build the first commercial FINEX F-1.5M plant by POSCO in August 2004 which finally commenced operation in April 2007.

Based on the successful results of the F-1.5M FINEX Plant, POSCO and Primetals Technologies decided to further develop F-2.0M FINEX plant with an annual hot metal production capacity of 2 MTPA. The job was started by POSCO In 2011 to build the first FINEX F-2.0M and the plant has been successfully put into operation in January 2014 and according to POSCO, the F-2M FINEX plant produced 1.5 million tons of hot metal in the first 11 months.

Modifications made in the F-2M FINEX Plant with their achievements

The design of the third generation F-2M FINEX plant is characterized by a simplified plant concept resulting in decreased construction weights compared to the F-1.5M concept. Besides others, following major changes in its design are attributed to its achievement: 

  • Pneumatic ore charging to the fluidized bed reactors including a 3-stage fluidized bed reactor system resulting in a decreased building height of more than 30%
  • Simplified system configuration in the hot compacting system and implementation of dry de-dusting equipment
  • Elimination of HCI bin and related top gas system in the melter gasifier tower
  • Installation of a centre charging system for hot HCI and coal, allowing for homogeneous charging of feed materials to the melter gasifier. The distribution on the char bed surface is realized via a dynamic gimbal distributor.

These modifications helped in reducing overall construction weight of the FINEX F-2.0M plant by approx. 9% and required no larger space in the plant layout. After start-up in January 2014, operation optimization and facility stabilization, the productivity of the F-2.0M plant achieved its target value of 5760 t/d in April 2014. Since then operation targets are achieved and operational optimization is under progress to further optimize coal consumption.

Due to improvements in equipment and operational skills, a target availability of greater than 95% could be achieved in the first few months of operation.

Upcoming FINEX Plants in India


In Aug’15 POSCO signed a memorandum with Uttam Steel and Power Limited (USPL) to set up 3 MTPA integrated steel plant in Maharashtra (India) at an envisaged investment of nearly ₹ 20,000 crore (Approximately 3.07 Billion USD). The proposed project at Satarda in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district in India is based on POSCO’s patented Finex process. For complete details please refer to our article POSCO signs MOU with Uttam Steel and Power Limited (USPL) to set up a 3 MTPA Integrated Steel Plant at Satarda, India


Earlier in this year Mideast Integrated Steel Limited, the flagship company of Mesco Group, India signed a memorandum with South Korean steel maker POSCO to use FINEX technology at its Kalinganagar plant in Jajpur district of Odisha (India). The first FINEX plant of POSCO which they ceased operating since July 2014, is to be transferred to MESCO. This project is part of the USD 700 million first phase steel expansion project to take Mesco Steel's capacity to 2 million tonnes. Presently, Mesco Steel operates two blast furnaces in its plant at Kalinganagar. The company has its own iron ore mine in Roida Barbil region of Keonjhar District in Odisha and another iron ore mining lease at Malangtoli in Odisha. In this month both Posco and Mesco have agreed for next meeting in November this year to discuss the modalities for transfer of Finex technology. After that, the process of dismantling of Posco's Finex plant in Korea and its subsequent installation at Mesco premises would take off. The Finex plant during operation would need a running 100 Mw captive power plant (CPP) and an oxygen plant of 1,000 tonne per day (tpd) capacity. Finex process is expected to cut hot metal production cost for Mesco by Rs 2000-2500 per tonne.

Available FINEX Modules

Different sizes of FINEX modules and capacity made available by POSCO to meet specific requirements of the customers are:

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Steel Plants with COREX Process in Operation: A Quick Review

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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 ofIron Making - its Merits and Demerits

Steel Plants with COREX Process in Operation  

ArcelorMittal Steel, Saldanha Works, South Africa   

ArcelorMittal Steel, Saldanha Works, South Africa | Industry Guru
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 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.

Plant highlights / developments:

  • The COREX plant operation is based on approx. 80% local lump ore charging.
  • Typical annual production for the COREX / MIDREX DR plant combination is 700,000 t/a HM and 700,000 t/a DRI.
  • Compared to other ArcelorMittal steel plants, this steel works is within the plants with the lowest production cost.

JSW Steel, Toranagallu Works, Bellary, Karnataka, India

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.   

Steel Plants with COREX Process | Industry Guru

Plant highlights / developments:
  • In 2014 a COREX gas based 1.2 million t/a MIDREX DR plant was successfully added to produce Hot DRI. 
  • COREX gas from both modules is partly used for Hot DRI production which is subsequently transferred to a new adjacent EAF steel plant via a hot transport system. The remaining export gas is still used for internal steel works use, the pelletizing plant and the power plant for co-firing.
  • A recovery in excess of 95% of COREX slag could be done through slag granulation plant and is used in the manufacture of cement.
  • Jindal’s COREX plant has been able to surpass its rated capacity by more than 20 - 25%, producing quality hot metal for steelmaking.
  • During the relining in 2012 and 2013 an Arial Gas Distribution System was introduced in the reduction shaft of each COREX module. As a result of new developments (more even gas distribution, less burden weight on the DRI screws, more even flow of the material through the reduction shaft, etc.) an improvement of the process itself could be achieved: (a) Improved gas distribution, (b) Lower dp over the reduction shaft (c) Significant increase in Shaft Lifetime - the time from one shaft cleaning to the next shaft cleaning that occurred at JSW Steel on a regular basis has now been elongated to more than one year.
    POSCO, Pohang Works, Republic of Korea
    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.

    Further developments:

    • In 2002 the COREX plant of POSCO, Pohang Works was converted into the FINEX F-0.6M.
    • Demonstration Plant with a nominal capacity of 2000 t/d commenced operation in 2003.
    • In July 2014 the operation was stopped and currently it is under investigation to relocate the plant to India.
    Baosteel Group, China
    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.

    Further developments:

    • Due to declining prices for heavy plate and as part of a strategic realignment of production in the Shanghai area, Baosteel decided to cease steel production in the Luojing Works and dismantle the individual steelmaking installations, including the two COREX plants. It rebuilt the dismantled installations in various Chinese steel works. The COREX Module 01 has been transferred to Bayi Iron & Steel Co Limited in the Xinjiang Province, a steelmaker belonging to the Baosteel Group.
    • The COREX plant at Bayi Steel will allow local coal to be used, which are significantly cheaper in Xinjiang area.
    • COREX gas can be used as a fuel gas in the downstream facilities to generate electricity or for the production of direct-reduced iron in a region that has almost no resources of natural gas.

    Essar Hazira Ltd. India

    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.

    FINEX® Process, smelting reduction technology of ironmaking - Features, Merits and Limitations

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    What is FINEX ?

    The FINEX is the latest addition and an optimized fine-ore smelting reduction (SR) iron making process based on the direct use of the coal and iron ore fines. FINEX Process is a fluidized bed based process using ore fines instead using iron ore lumps and pellets. This is a process with great potential with regard to productivity and the low cost production of hot metal.
    In 1992, POSCO and VAI, Austria signed an agreement to work together for a joint development of the FINEX Process. And accordingly, FINEX process was developed jointly by POSCO, Korea and Primetals Technologies to provide the iron making sector with the capability of producing (hot metal) at a reduced cost, lesser environmental pollutions and more flexibility in terms of operation and the choice of raw materials. Primetals Technologies Limited, is a joint venture of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies and Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM).
    The present article contains about:
    • What is Finex process
    • Benefits or Merits of this technology
    • Some limitations or disadvantages of Finex technology
    To know more about the Steel plants with FINEX process in operation as how these FINEX plants were started and subsequent developments and changes brought in those FINEX plants, read:
    Fig: FINEX Technology (Flowsheet)
    FINEX Process of Iron Making - An Overview
    In the FINEX process the iron production is carried out in two separate Process steps. In a series of fluidized bed reactors, fine-grained iron oxides are reduced to direct-reduced iron, compacted and then transported to a melter gasifier. Coal and coal briquettes charged to the melter gasifier are gasified, providing the necessary energy for melting in addition to the reduction gas. Fine ore and additives (limestone and dolomite) are dried and then charged to a 3 or 4 stage fluidized bed system where the iron ores are progressively reduced in counter current flow with the reducing gas to fine DRI and the fine additives are partly calcined.

    Reactors R4 and R3 are primarily used to preheat the ore fines to the reduction temperature, which can be adjusted by partial combustion of the off-gas (export gas) from R2. In R2 the fine ore is pre-reduced to reduction degree (RD) of about 30%. At the end of the production in R1, the final reduction to DRI takes place (RD about 90%). Operational pressure in R1 to R4 is approximately 4 - 5 bars. The fine DRI is compacted and then charged in the form of Hot Compacted Iron (HCI) into the melter gasifier. So, before charging to the melter gasifier unit of the FINEX unit, this material is compacted in a hot briquetting press to give hot compacted iron (HCI) since the melter gasifier cannot use fine material (to ensure permeability in the bed). Non-coking coal (lumpy and / or briquetted fines) is charged from the top of the melter gasifier, dried and degassed in the upper char bed area and finally the degassed coal (char) is gasified with pure oxygen which is blown in at the tuyere zone of the melter gasifier bed. The gasification supplies the energy required for the metallurgical reactions and for the melting of HCI and coal ash to hot metal and slag. Pulverized coal injection (PCI) system is provided to inject fine coal via the oxygen tuyeres. The gas generated in the melter gasifier of the FINEX unit is used to reduce the ore in the reactors preceding the melter gasifier. The generated FINEX off-gas is a highly valuable product and can be further used in power generation or heating processes. The DRI is charged in the melter gasifier in hot condition, where it is melted, fully reduced and carburized to hot metal. The hot metal and slag produced in the melter gasifier is frequently tapped from the hearth similar to the blast furnace and COREX operations. Also refer COREX Process of Iron Making - its Merits and Demerits.

    FINEX Process - Merits and Benefits
    In many respects FINEX process can be considered as an offshoot of COREX process and hence, bear the various advantages of the COREX and more as outlined below -  
    Flexibility in Raw Materials
    • No blending of ore & coal. Rather direct utilization of coal.
    • Use of Low-grade ore & low-ranked coal. Integration of the coal briquetting technology increases the range of suitable coal blends for the FINEX application. Utilization of 100% coal briquettes offers the possibility to mix different coal qualities for the generation of coal briquettes.
    Easy & Flexible Operation
    • Independent control of reduction & melting processes
    • Easy & hassle-free operational control
    Environmental Friendliness
    • Far less emission of SOx, NOx, phenols, sulphides, ammonia & dust because the FINEX process does not need sinter plant and the coke oven battery which are the actual sources of emission in a conventional blast furnace route.
    • Applicability to the CO2 sequestration.
    Cost Competitiveness
    • Lower cost in both capital investment & operation as compared to the blast furnace route, keeping the quality of the hot metal same.
    • According to POSCO, the capital cost & operating cost of FINEX process are less than by 20 and 15 percent respectively of that of Blast Furnace route. 
    • Need much less land as compared to conventional BF complex.
    • Similar to the Corex export gas, FINEX export gas (with calorific value of 5,500 – 6,250 kJ/m3 STP) can be used to substitute natural gas, oil, coke and coal for metallurgical applications and power generations etc. Depending on the composition of coal and the decision whether gas recycling is applied or not, the amount and the composition of the export gas can vary within definite limits.
    Limitations (Demerits) of FINEX Process
    As said FINEX, COREX, HISMELT are the latest alternative methods for producing liquid iron (Hot Metal) through Smelting Reduction (SR) process. Some of the limitations (disadvantages) are -
    • Ease of obtaining FINEX technology is uncertain though POSCO has started to extend it.
    • Both COREX and FINEX processes need a large amount of oxygen.
    • The major criteria for an initial evaluation of coals or coal blends for the FINEX Process are: 1. Fix carbon content at a minimum of 55%, 2. Ash content up to 25%, 3.Volatile content lower than 35%, 4. Sulphur content lower than 1%
    • Additional to these qualities the coal must have a good thermal stability to ensure the formation of a stable char bed in the melter gasifier. 
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