JULY 2010

Companies collaborate to begin recycling steel mill dust

Nippon Steel Corporation and Kobe Steel, Ltd. announced that they will begin construction of a plant to recycle steel mill dust into direct reduced iron. As part of the objectives to enhance and expand their alliance, the two companies decided to carry out the project through a joint venture and undertook preparations to start the new business.

The joint venture plans to stably produce competitive iron units by recycling steel mill dust, a byproduct from the steelmaking process. Due to the sharp increase in steel demand centered on emerging countries, raw material prices have escalated. This business would be an extremely effective approach to secure competitive iron units in a business environment of unstable raw material prices and availability.

Through the joint business, both Nippon Steel and Kobe Steel will be able to promote steel dust recycling and zero emissions in the local region beyond the framework of each individual company by integrating the process technology established by Kobe Steel and operation know-how established by Nippon Steel on the recycling and effective utilization of steel dust.

In addition to the new business, Nippon Steel will be able to use its existing dust recycling plants at its Hirohata Works to recycle steel mill dust generated from the steelmakers, including alliance partners, located in the Kansai region.

Nippon Steel and Kobe Steel will use steel mill dust and iron ore fines from their steel mills as raw materials to recycle iron into direct reduced iron (DRI) and recover zinc. For this purpose, a joint venture company has been established within Nippon Steel’s Hirohata Works.

The name of the joint business is Nittetsu Shinko Metal Refine Co., Ltd. with Nippon Steel owning 70 percent and Kobe Steel 30 percent.

Nittetsu Shinko Metal Refine will construct a direct reduction plant utilizing Kobe Steel’s FASTMET® Process within Nippon Steel’s Hirohata Works. Nittetsu Shinko Metal Refine will recycle the steel mill dust it receives and use it to produce DRI. The DRI will be supplied to Nippon Steel and Kobe Steel, with a portion also going to Sanyo Special Steel Co., Ltd., a group company of Nippon Steel.