EghtesadOnline: Iran produced 16.65 million tons of direct-reduced iron during the seven months of 2019 (January to July) to register a 16.3% growth compared to the corresponding period of 2018, the latest report released by the World Steel Association shows.
The country was the second biggest DRI producer in the world during the seven-month period, according to the Brussels-based international trade body for the iron and steel industry.
Iran’s July DRI output grew 22.6% year-on-year to hit 2.47 million tons.
The country produced a total of 25.54 million tons of DRI in 2018, up 31.6% YOY, Financial Tribune reported.
The latest Worldsteel report shows global direct-reduced iron output increased 5.8% year-on-year to 51.57 million tons during the period.
Global DRI output in July stood at 7.24 million tons to register a 6.6% growth YOY.
Production for 2018 grew 11.6% year-on-year to 84.3 million tons.
India, Iran's primary rival in DRI output, increased its seven-month production by 5.9% YOY to 19.36 million tons.
The largest decline was in Argentina, where output decreased 29.2% YOY to 666,000 tons.
Iran's largest steelmaker Mobarakeh Steel Company is the world's biggest DRI producer. The company, along with its subsidiaries, accounted for more than 43% of Iran’s total direct-reduced iron production last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019) with output exceeding 10.5 million tons.
Located in southwestern Isfahan, MSC has a remarkable share of 50% in Iran’s steel production. The company is the biggest steel producer in Iran and the Middle East and North Africa region.
Iran has patented the direct-reduction technology called PERED, or Persian Reduction, invented by Mines and Metals Engineering GmbH, an Iranian engineering company registered in Germany.
PERED technology, which makes optimum use of energy and raw materials, reduces production costs with the added advantage of being more environment-friendly compared to other direct reduction methods.
There are generally three methods for DRI production: HYL process, presently marketed under ‘Energiron’ trademark, jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli; MIDREX Process patented by Midrex Technologies Inc. along with its parent company Kobe Steel Ltd; in addition to PERED.
The replacement of MIDREX and Energiron with PERED will cut the production costs by cutting the initial investment and operational costs, apart from being more eco-friendly.
DRI, also known as sponge iron, is produced from direct reduction of iron ore in the form of lumps, pellets or fines by a reducing gas. It can be processed to create wrought iron.
Crude steel is dominantly produced using two methods: making cast iron in blast furnaces or using DRI and scrap in electric arc furnaces.
More than 70% of the world’s steel are made using blast furnaces, while Iranian steelmaking is mostly dominated by EAFs.