This is from Steel-technology.com…
BC IRON AND STEEL WORKS, CANADA
A group of venture partners that includes SMS Demag has formed Pacific Iron and Steel Products Ltd. to build BC Iron & SteelWorks, a slabmaking facility that will use SMS Demag’s Redsmelt process to produce molten direct-reduced iron (DRI) for a melt shop that will produce 1.1-1.6 million annual tons of slabs. The facility will refine the DRI in a BOF. The plant will be on Ridley Island, near the city of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.
Pacific Iron and Steel became interested in developing this project because of the high demand for high-quality alternative irons. With operating costs of less than $90 per ton of CPI and its relative value-in-use, the facility could compete with products from merchant DRI projects, primarily in Venezuela, Trinidad, and Australia. It also could compete effectively with CPI produced in China, Brazil, Ukraine, and Russia.
It is perceived that British Columbia is an excellent location to take advantage of low-cost hydroelectric-power generation. BC Hydro currently serves Ridley Island and has agreed to provide any necessary upgrade in services to accommodate the steelmaker. Some of the largest and most productive gas finds in North America exist in the Pine River area of northern British Columbia.
BC Iron & SteelWorks probably will break ground late this summer after the financial details are complete. Startup should begin two years later.
Though some product could make its way to Asia, most would be bound for the West Coast of the U.S. Oregon Steel and California Steel are two companies in this market that buy large amounts of slabs and would be likely consumers.
The company chose SMS Demag’s rotary-hearth-furnace (RHF) technology to produce the DRI. Some of the advantages of RHF technology are low investment and operating costs; the ability to use least-cost iron ore, iron-bearing, and reductant feed; and quick reduction times of 12-20 minutes. This permits quick process adjustment and easy startup.
In the Redsmelt process, a mix of iron ore or other iron-bearing material, solid reductants, binder, and water is formed into 9-15-mm green pellets that are transported by a conveyor belt to the RHF.
A vibrating-conveyor charging system distributes the pellets uniformly onto the hearth. The pellets travel through the RHF, where they are reduced to DRI. The main reduction zone of the furnace reaches 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on furnace operation and raw-material input, it’s possible to reach a metallization of 85-92 percent with a residual carbon content of 1.5-7 percent.
The DRI, which is about 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit, travels in refractory-lined containers and is continuously fed into a submerged-arc furnace (SAF) through the roof; coal and lime also are charged. Operators will pour the hot metal from the SAF into the BOF, where it will be blended with scrap, which probably will be mainly No. 1 heavy melt. Hot metal will account for up to 80 percent of the metallic charge. The plant also will be able to convert the hot metal into cold pig iron for storage or for sale, depending on market conditions.
The cumulative cash cost to produce liquid steel by this process is less than $125 per ton, the company believes that at these costs, BC Iron & Steel Works would have one of the lowest operating costs of North American mills.** The facility, which will require an investment of about $536 million**, will have a 110-ton charge converter. It will use 176,000 annual tons of scrap; total charge costs would be around $97. Energy inputs per ton of slab would be: 672 kWh of electricity, 2.2 million cubic feet of natural gas, and 1,516 standard cubic feet of oxygen. The company expects total costs before equity return to be $184/ton of slab.
Low-sulfur iron-ore supplies from Brazil can be purchased at competitive prices because of the opportunity to back-haul iron and steel products to Mexico and the U.S. and coal to South America. Ridley Island also is the closest North American port to Asia, which reduces transportation costs. The BC IronWorks is well located to benefit from an abundant supply of coal with high fixed carbon content, low volatility, and low ash levels.