Feb. 24, 2024

Vale to Use World's First Iron Ore Briquetting Plant in Brazil

On December 12, 2023, Vale opened the world's first iron ore briquetting plant in the Tubarão comprehensive operations area in Victoria, Espírito Santo state, Brazil.

“We are about to offer a product that will support our customers in the steelmaking industry in adapting to the emission reduction targets set by governments around the world, thus contributing to the fight against climate change. In addition, we are leading the way in Brazil’s new industrialization. This new Industrialization will be based on low-carbon development and Vale will once again fulfill its mission as a pillar of regional development," said Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo.

Iron ore briquetting plant

The briquette product developed by Vale can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in blast furnaces by 10%. If green hydrogen is used in the future, it can also make "zero-emission steel production" possible. The briquette product uses a binder technology solution and is pressed from high-quality iron ore at low temperatures, resulting in a final product with high mechanical strength. Vale announced the launch of briquetting products in 2021. Compared with the traditional pelletizing process, the briquetting process emits less particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, etc., and the production process does not require water.

It is reported that Vale's first briquetting plant started load testing in August 2023 and the results were good, making it possible to start operations in 2023. The second briquetting plant is also located in the Tubarão Integrated Operations Area and is scheduled to start operations in early 2024. The total annual production capacity of the two briquetting plants will reach 6 million tons, with a total investment of US$256 million.

Vale said that there are currently more than 30 companies interested in receiving briquetting products in 2024. Since the briquettes are innovative products, the briquettes produced within the first two years will be used for testing in the customer's factory. Companies interested in using Vale's briquetting products are mainly from Europe and the Middle East.

Iron ore briquetting plant