IRON ORE PELLETS

April 28, 2011

IRON ORE PELLETS

THE DREAM NOT ACCOMPLISHED BY INDIAN INDUSTRY: It is a real story of WHO WILL BELL THE CAT? !

For the last two years we are talking about iron ore pelletization in almost all the steel or ore related seminars organized in our country including the SEMINAR organized by Steel Ministry,where I had also given my presentation. In the last two years more than 100 industrialists visited China to see the pellet plants and also to discuss with the suppliers. By seeing this Indian entrepreneurs interest in pellet plants more than 10 companies from China visited India and spend their time to manage Indian clients for booking the orders. Thinking there is a huge potential in this business few of the Chinese companies opened their offices in India. After all the efforts from Chinese suppliers and Indian customers, only few projects are in progress. These companies will not support the market requirements.

Best example for Indian industry is SIIL which is promoted by Government and technology from LURGI. That one Sponge iron unit created more than 500 plants in India because of which INDIA is number ONE in the World for coal based DRI production. This is not a success story based on which similar project can be made for Iron ore Pellet also?

 

WHAT IS THE RESULT?

Most of the projects are taking shape only by big companies like SAIL, NMDC, RINL etc. This will not help the secondary steel segment which is also in need of iron ore pellets. If we see the secondary steel market many companies collected offers from Chinese companies, many companies waiting for clearances, many companies still waiting for some one to start. Till now iron ore pellets are not available in the market. But the requirement is huge, because all the sponge iron manufacturers are breaking their heads to procure iron ore with constant Fe content and with out contamination. Most of the times they lose by paying transport for 20% contaminated iron ore, and also the cost of processing this 20% contaminated iron ore.

 

WHY PROJECTS ARE NOT CONCLUDED ?

Many solutions for this problem are discussed in detail in many conferences and seminars by many industrial experts. Most of the experts will speak about the high volumes, 0.6million tons to 3million tons per annum. The project cost will start from Rs.120 crores to Rs.700 crores which is beyond the capacity of the small scale steel manufacturers. Most of the conferences and seminars are also not answering the question of the production at small scale levels. There is no Design Institute in India which can support this type of new technologies. Most of the design institutes are with Major Steel Makers which do not work for the small scale industries. This problem will be solved only when the technology is developed at small scale levels. This is possible only when Government support with necessary assistance for the few companies who are ready to take risk in getting the technology.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY?

For many years iron ore fines are exported thinking that they are environmental hazard if stored at mines. You should go and see the roads and railway stations through which these fines travel from mines to port then any one can understand what is real threat for the environment.The problem of environment threat with iron ore fines can be solved only by converting them to Pellets and using in steel making.

 

WHERE IS THE ROAD BLOCK?

Almost every sponge iron unit in India today is dreaming for the iron ore pellet plant. But every one want to produce only what they need. This quantity will be 200tons per day to 500 tons per day needed by the sponge iron plants. This capacity is very small for any technology supplier.This is the first road block observed by discussing with many companies.