JSPL to set up two more coal gasification based DRI plants

Abhishek Law | Updated on: May 03, 2022
VR Sharma, Managing Director, JSPL

VR Sharma, Managing Director, JSPL

The plants, each with 2 MTPA capacity are expected to be on-stream by end FY25

Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) – among the major steel producers in the country – is planning to set up two coal gasification based DRI (direct reduced iron) plants, one each in Angul (Odisha) and Raigarh (Chattisgarh). The plants, each with a capacity of 2 million tonne per annum (MTPA), are expected to be on-stream by end FY25.

Under the coal gasification process, coal is converted into synthesis gas which can be further used for producing the direct reduced iron in a shaft furnace (used in steel making). The gas can further be used for producing power, petrol, diesel and other petroleum products.

JSPL, it may be mentioned, has brought on stream the country’s only coal gasification technology at its Angul plant. The 2 MTPA plant commenced operations in January 2020.

According to VR Sharma, Managing Director, JSPL, the coal gasification plants will allow the company to use Indian coal, while lowering carbon footprint.

The long term plan is to have 50 per cent of total steel production through electric arc furnace / DRI method and the remaining through blast furnace–basic oxygen furnace.

Large integrated steel players in India generally use the carbon-intensive blast furnace–basic oxygen furnace route, where the iron ore is smelted at high temperatures and coal is used as the reducing agent. In the second one, called the electric arc furnace route, it produces steel mostly from scrap collected for recycling.

“We are yet to finalise the capex numbers. Maybe within another three-odd months, we can fix the invest details. Coal gasification will allow us to use swadeshi coal,” he told BusinessLine

“Further, India can produce the cheapest hydrogen through the coal gasification route,” Sharma added.

Flat products

JSPL, which is already carrying out a ₹18,000 crore capacity expansion will also get into flat products. The capex plans include doubling Angul’s capacity to 12 MTPA.

The capacity expansion at Angul include 4.45 MT blast furnace, 2.7 MT direct reduced iron, 6.3 MT steel melting shop, 5.5 MT conventional hot strip mill and 12 MT pellet plant.

Flat products will cater to segments like engineering and capital goods, shipbuilding, warship-making apart from automobiles.

According to Sharma, the company is also eyeing acquisitions. “We remain interested in bidding for RINL and NMDC’s Nagarnar unit as and when the biddings open. While RINL will give us an advantage in long products, Nargarnar will be for flat products,” he said.

JSPL, incidentally had also bid for Neelachal Ispat Nigam but was pipped by Tata Steel.

Published on May 03, 2022
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