India-based Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) restarted operations at its coal gasification-based Direct-reduced iron (DRI) or sponge iron plant in Angul, Odisha. The operations at this plant were constrained due to scarcity of coal.
The 1.80mn mt DRI plant was recommissioned in March 2019, but the coal mines allocated to JSPL were cancelled by India’s Supreme Court. In the absence of regular availability of one type of coal, JSPL was compelled to install a conventional steel making facility through blast furnace to basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF) route at the site and plant’s production capacity was constrained. JSPL notified that operations have resumed at the plant as Coal India and Mahanadi Coalfields have started supplying coal for gasification and DRI operations, on Tuesday.
Operating cost of a coal to gas DRI plant is lower compared to an integrated steel plant. At JSPL’s Angul plant, locally available high ash Indian coal is converted into Synthetic Gas or SynGas through coal gasification process (CGP). It is only the second of its kind plant in the world, which is powered by coal gas rather than natural gas, cutting cost as well as reducing the environmental impact of coal.
The company targets additional production of 1.50mn mtpa of steel by the end of March 2021 through the CGP and DRI routes.