Improvement of DRP efficiency and production capacity

The project

For a large and important steel producer, Iv undertook a project to improve an existing Direct Reduced Iron Plant (DRP) in the United States. This DRP was only two years old and, for various reasons, was not operating to specification. As a result, production capacity was lagging and raw material degradation was extensive, resulting in unwanted by-products and pollution. These by-products were causing poor performance and wear and tear to installations and equipment, resulting in downtime and inadequate accessibility.


The US-based DRP processes iron oxide pellets containing 67% Fe (iron) into a highly metallised form of iron in the form of Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) containing 91% Fe. HBI briquettes are a raw material used by steel producers worldwide. The advantage of HBI is that it eliminates the need for a Blast Furnace, making the process significantly different from the (still) current method of steel production. This is a key step towards the future production of clean, green and circular steel.

The challenge

The aim and challenge of the concept and basic engineering phase was to make the entire plant more efficient and productive and to significantly reduce unwanted by-products. The project began with mapping the whole plant and its logistical operations, including the technical condition after two years. In the project’s initial phase, Iv identified all the issues, which were then analysed, prioritised and defined in various work packages. The most urgent work packages were tackled and implemented first.


The improvement task covered the storage and handling of raw materials and the treatment of by-products (including particulates and sludge), the introduction of redundancy, screening and sampling of production, dedusting, storage of raw materials, by-products and products, various train, wash and HGV loading stations, and pollution control, environmental and working conditions.


The impact

In implementing the detailed optimisation and improvement proposals, we collaborated with the client to select a number of contractors for further implementation. Iv fulfilled the role of client engineer and consultant. The production of HBI is currently performing as required, and the plant recently had its best production year ever. Production efficiency has also increased, costs have been reduced, and pollution levels have been cut by at least 80 percent.


Curious about the possibilities for your project?

Rick, managing director Heavy Industrie, would be delighted to discuss this with you! Get in touch via +31 88 943 3000 or send a message.

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Rick de Jong