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2 minutes read

Kobe Steel is working with Mitsui on a low CO2 iron metallics project in Oman

Kobe Steel is to target growing demand for Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) processes and stepping up feasibility studies on a low CO2 iron metallics project in Oman ahead of launching production in 2027.

The engineering revamp could achieve net sales of ¥250bn in fiscal 2030 while net sales of products that contribute to reducing emissions reach as much as ¥550bn by the same year.

The company, marking its 125th anniversary next year, continues to work building an ammonia supply chain and purchase equipment with funds obtained from winning the long-term decarbonisation power source auction.

DRI involves the removal of oxygen from iron ore or other iron bearing materials in the solid state, i.e. without melting, as in the blast furnace.

The reducing agents are carbon monoxide and hydrogen, coming from reformed natural gas, syngas or coal. Iron ore is used mostly in pellet and/or lumpy form.

Kobe Steel is working with Mitsui on the low CO2 iron metallics project in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, Oman.

The project is expected to produce five million tonnes of DRI through the MIDREX process, which converts iron oxide into DRI inside the shaft furnace, using hydrogen-rich gas coming from natural gas or hydrogen as a reducing agent.By using technically and commercially proven production method, the partners aim to provide a near-term decarbonisation solution to the steelmaking industry.

In the long run, the project will aim for further decarbonisation through measures such as replacement of natural gas with hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), with a goal to expand production capacity as well.

Products will be supplied to businesses in Asia including Kobe Steel and other global markets such as Europe.

The Sultanate of Oman is rich in natural gas reserves necessary for producing DRI and is also one of the globally benign locations for renewable energy, making it a highly suitable area for competitive green hydrogen.

Mitsui also has a trusting relationship with the Sultanate of Oman through existing businesses including oil & gas upstream investments, LNG projects, and IPP businesses.

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