Steel Product Producers

Vale proposes iron ore briquette plant for US Gulf Coast

Written by Laura Miller

Rio de Janeiro-based metals and mining conglomerate Vale could potentially build a new plant for the production of iron ore briquettes in the US.

Vale’s plant proposal is one of six iron and steel projects chosen this week to move forward with award negotiations by the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its Industrial Demonstrations Program. The Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are providing the program’s grant monies – in excess of $6 billion – to drive decarbonization across American industry.

The proposed project is for Vale’s wholly-owned subsidiary Vale USA to build a low-emissions, cold-agglomerated iron ore briquette production plant somewhere on the US Gulf Coast.

Award negotiations will take place mid-year, Vale said in a statement on Monday. The company could receive a grant of up to $282.9 million for the project.

Vale said it inaugurated the world’s first plant that utilizes the low-temperature agglomeration of iron ore in Vitória, Brazil, in 2023.

According to Vale, the US plant would be the world’s first “in applying the proprietary cold-agglomeration process for briquettes customized for the direct reduction route.”

Additionally, Vale said it is looking to develop additional facilities in Brazil and worldwide with the goal of producing 100 million metric tons per year of agglomerates by 2030.

Last year, Vale and Sweden’s H2 Green Steel signed an agreement to study the feasibility of developing green industrial hubs in Brazil and North America. The Swedish steelmaker is exploring the production of low-carbon steel products using the iron ore briquettes made by Vale as input material.

Laura Miller

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