Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel (JSIS), which operates a major integrated steel complex at Sohar Port and Freezone, has announced that its affiliate Vulcan Pelletizing LLC has commenced construction work on an iron ore pelletising plant on its premises.

In a post on its social media account over the weekend, Jindal Shadeed said the project, when fully operational, will be the largest single kiln pelletising plant in the Gulf region.

The 6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity plant will provide the required feedstock for Jindal Shadeed’s steel manufacturing operations in Suhar. As a captive project, its output will be wholly dedicated to meeting the raw material requirements of Jindal’s steel mill at the industrial port.

The foundation-stone laying ceremony was led by V R Sharma, Vice Chairman of India-based Jindal Group, who also underlined the significance of the pelletising plant to ensure reliable and sustainable raw material supplies to Jindal Shadeed. Pellet quality is also key to ensuring the smooth functioning of the steel mill complex, he noted.

Also present was Sanjay Anand, Managing Director of Vulcan Group, which acquired a significant stake in Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel following the exit of its previous owner — India-based conglomerate Jindal Power & Steel.

Speaking at the ceremony, Anand said the project will feature the highest capacity kiln supported by all the latest technologies. The project will also generate employment opportunity and contribute to in-country value (ICV) development, he stated.

Harssha Shetty, CEO - Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel (JSIS), also shared his views on the importance of pellet quality in iron-making in terms of better productivity at optimised cost.

Earlier this year, the Helsinki-headquartered machinery manufacturer Metso Outotec said it had won a contract worth around $31 million for the manufacture and installation of a grate kiln-type pelletising plant. Grate kilns produce pellets of more consistent quality at a lower cost than other types of pelletising systems. In addition to the core machinery, the hardware will also include the travelling gate, rotary kiln and annular cooler.

When operational in early 2024, Vulcan’s plant will be the second such iron ore pelletising project to be in operation in Sohar Port & Freezone. The industrial port is also home to a giant pelletising project of Vale Oman Pelletising Company, an Oman-Brazilian joint venture majority owned by Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies. In addition to a pelletising plant of 9 MTPA capacity, Vale Oman also operates a giant stockyard and distribution centre with a throughput of 40 million tonnes per year.

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