Finnish mining and metallurgical industries specialist Metso Outotec has announced that it has been awarded a contract for the supply of key machinery for a new iron ore pelletising project planned for development at Sohar Port and Freezone.

The Helsinki-headquartered machinery manufacturer, which is also a leading global supplier of grate kiln-type pelletising plants, said it has won a contract worth around EUR 33 million (approx. $31 million) for the manufacture and installation of a 6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) pelletising plant at the industrial port.

The client has been identified as Vulcan Pelletizing LLC, which will supply all of its output to Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel Mill LLC, which owns and operates an integrated steel complex at Sohar Port.

When operational, by around the end of 2023, Vulcan’s plant will be the second such iron ore pelletizing project to be in operation in Sohar Port & Freezone. The industrial port is also home to a giant pelletizing project of Vale Oman Pelletizing 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.

Metso Outotec says its contract covers the supply of a grate kiln-type pelletising plant, which typically 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.

“This is the third order for a 6 mtpa grate-kiln pelletising plant within the last 16 months. Metso Outotec is proud to be the Vulcan group’s selected partner in iron ore pelletising, and we look forward to propelling the Vulcan group to be a global leader with world-class pellet products,” Chris Urban, Vice President, Heat Transfer Products at Metso Outotec, noted in a press statement.

The Finnish firm, which earned revenues of around EUR 4.2 billion in 2021, has installed more than 50 grate kiln type pelletising system globally with a combined capacity of 130 mtpa.

Significantly, the new plant will augment Sohar Port’s importance as a metallurgical hub, alongside its sizable petrochemicals, logistics and food clusters. The industrial port and adjoining free zone has already attracted investments in a world-scale aluminium smelter, ferrochrome smelters, and other metals-based ventures.

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