Mar 12 2011
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Modern facilities to support Jindal Shadeed operations at Port of Sohar
According to a top executive of the company, Jindal Shadeed has invested in a comprehensive system of conveyors as well as high-tech loading and unloading machines designed to support the quick turnaround of ships calling at Sohar. Ships laden with iron ore pellets -- the basic feedstock for the DRI plant have begun calling at regular intervals at the company's exclusive 600-metre-long jetty, said D K Saraogi (pictured), Executive President & Head Oman, Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel LLC.
Installed along the waterfront is a pair of giant loading and unloading machines which can travel along the length of the 600-metre quay. In unloading mode, the machines can discharge a ship laden with pellets at an average rate of 1,800 tonnes per hour (TPH), rising to a peak speed of 3,600 TPH. Thus, a Cape-size vessel of around 170,000-tonne capacity can be discharged in under five days, says Saraogi.
The same machines can be deployed in loading mode to transfer Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) the finished product -- into the holds of bulk carriers. A Panama-size vessel of roughly 50,000 tonnes capacity usually takes five days to load at an average speed of 800 TPH.
Equally elaborate are the material handling systems that carry feedstock and finished product to and from the waterfront, the Executive President adds. A 300-metre-long conveyer system carries feedstock from the jetty to a stockyard where it is temporarily stacked. Another set of conveyors transfers the feedstock from the stockyard to day bins specially erected for the storage of raw materials. Around 8,800 metric tonnes representing more than a day's requirement of raw material can be held in these day bins.
From the storage bins, yet another series of conveyors carries the raw materials to the Direct Reduction furnace through a screening station. The finished product is then transferred through a system of apron conveyors and eventually to the HBI stockyard where it remains in storage awaiting shipment to regional and international markets. An extensive dust suppression system controls dust generation at all transfer points.
According to Saraogi, the present practice of transporting HBI by truck to the jetty for loading into ships will soon be replaced by a fully automated system. "We are going to install a conveyor system to transport the entire produce from our DRI Plant to the jetty and further loading onto ships by our loaders-cum-unloaders."
Jindal Shadeed 's HBI exports are mainly targeted at regional consumers, although markets further afield are in the company's sights as well. "We are making all efforts to export HBI to major consumers, initially in the GCC and Middle East & North Africa (MENA) countries. Some volumes are being sold locally to Sohar Steel. At the same time, we are exploring the following export markets: GCC, MENA, Europe, China, Mexico, and South-east Asia, among others. All the marketing activities are being handled by our in-house marketing team with the support of Jindal Steel and Power Limited's Central Marketing Department," Saraogi stated.
Billed as one of the most modern steel plants in the region, Jindal Shadeed is backed by Jindal Steel and Power Limited, one of India's biggest steel producers with a significant presence also in other sectors such as mining, power generation, oil and gas, and infrastructure.
Significantly, Jindal Shadeed is also embarking on plans to expand and diversify its Sohar operations at an estimated cost of $1 billion. The expansion, according to the Executive President, will position Oman as a major supplier of steel in the region, as well as secure the supply of a strategic commodity of vital importance to the Sultanate's continuing economic and infrastructure modernisation.
In Phase 2 of the project's development, estimated to cost $200 million, Jindal Shadeed plans to enhance the high-tech plant's capabilities with the addition of the following: an Electric Arc Furnace, Ladle Furnace and Continuous Casting Machine (billet/bloom caster). Work on the second phase expansion is expected to commence shortly. In Phase 3, Jindal Shadeed aims to expand the capacity of the steel mill to a world-scale 3.6 MTPA at an estimated additional cost of $800 million. Well-known consultancy firm W S Atkins, which has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study and market survey in this regard, is due to submit its findings shortly.
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