Mining company Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) has tied up with international engineering company Paul Wurth and European steelmaker SHS-Stahl-Holding-Saar for production of a low-carbon steel feedstock, using green hydrogen generated from hydro-electricity in Canada.
The collaboration will study the viability of transforming iron-ore pellets into low-carbon hot briquetted iron, according to media reports citing company statements.
Rio Tinto’s IOC will supply high-grade iron-ore and expertise in mining, processing and pelletising while Paul Wurth will take care of plant building and process knowledge in the field of highly efficient hydrogen generation and Midrex direct reduction plants. SHS is well known for iron and steelmaking expertise.
The study is expected to be completed in late 2021, which will be followed by a decision about investment on a hydrogen-based direct reduction plant at industrial scale.
Rio Tinto, in an official release, said, “Transforming high-grade iron ore pellets into a low-carbon steel feedstock using green hydrogen, when processed in an electric arc furnace with carbon free electricity, has the potential to reduce significantly the carbon emissions associated with steelmaking.”
Rio Tinto has already partnered with China’s Baowu Steel Group, Tsinghua University and Japan’s Nippon Steel for research and implementation of ways to reduce carbon emissions in steelmaking.