[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Vale and the state government of Pará held a celebration on April 6 to celebrate the start of construction of the first commercial Tecnored plant in Maraba, a city in the southeastern state of Pará, Brazil. The innovative technology Tecnored can help decarbonize the steel industry by using biomass instead of metallurgical coal to produce green pig iron, reducing carbon emissions by up to 100%. Pig iron can be used to produce steel.
The annual green pig iron production capacity of the new plant will initially reach 250,000 tons, and may reach 500,000 tons in the future. The factory is scheduled to start production in 2025, with an estimated investment of about 1.6 billion reais.
“The start of construction of the Tecnored commercial operation plant is an important step in the transformation of the mining industry, which will help the process chain to become more sustainable. The Tecnored project is of great significance for Vale and the region where it is located, and it will increase regional competition. and contribute to the sustainable development of the region,” said Eduardo Bartolomeo, CEO of Vale.
The Tecnored commercial chemical plant is located on the original site of the Carajas Pig Iron Plant in the industrial zone of Maraba City. According to the project progress and engineering research, it is expected that 2,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase during the peak period of the project, and 400 direct and indirect jobs.
About Tecnored Technology
Tecnored furnaces are much smaller than conventional blast furnaces and can use a wide range of raw materials, from iron ore fines, steelmaking slag to mine dam sludge.
For fuel, Tenored furnaces can use carbonized biomass such as bagasse and eucalyptus. The Tecnored technology makes raw fuel into briquettes (small, compact lumps), which are fed into furnaces to produce green pig iron. Tecnored furnaces can also be fueled with metallurgical coal. As the Tecnored technology is being used for the first time in a large-scale operation, the new plant will use fossil fuels in the initial stages of operation so that operational performance can be assessed.
“We will gradually replace coal with carbonized biomass until we reach the goal of 100% biomass,” said Leonardo Caputo, CEO of Tecnored. Flexibility in fuel selection enables Tecnored to reduce operating costs by up to 15% compared to conventional blast furnaces.
The Tecnored technology, which took 35 years to develop, eliminates the pre-coking and sintering stages of steel production, both of which emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.
Since coking and sintering are not required with the use of a Tecnored furnace, cost savings of up to 15% can be achieved on new steel plant investments. In addition, the Tecnored plant is self-sufficient in terms of energy efficiency, and all the gas produced during the smelting process is reused, some of which is used for combined heat and power generation. Not only that, the solid waste slag produced in the pig iron smelting process can also be used as a by-product by the cement industry as a raw material.
Vale currently has a demonstration plant with a rated annual capacity of 75,000 tons in Pinda Monangaba, São Paulo state, Brazil, where the company develops its technology and tests its technical and economic viability.
Scope 3 emission reduction
The commercial operation of Tecnored’s plant in Maraba City reflects Vale’s efforts to provide steel mill customers with technical solutions to decarbonize their production processes.
In 2020, Vale announced a target to reduce net Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035, of which up to 25% will be achieved through a portfolio of premium products and innovative technological solutions including smelting green pig iron . Emissions from the steel industry currently account for 94% of Vale’s Scope 3 emissions.
Vale also announced another emissions reduction target to achieve net-zero direct and indirect (Scope 1 and 2) emissions by 2050, for which the company will invest US$4 billion to US$6 billion and Increase the area of