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The partners have secured a land agreement and signed an MoU with Omani authorities for their collaborative project.
In advancing their Low-CO₂ Iron Metallics Project, Kobe Steel and Mitsui & Co. have formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oman's Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ). The endeavor aims to put direct reduced iron (DRI) production and sales into operation, utilizing Kobe Steel's MIDREX Process. Additionally, a Land Reservation Agreement with the Port of Duqm Company S.A.O.C. (PODC) has been solidified.
OPAZ administers all of Oman's special economic zones and free zones, while PODC manages the Port of Duqm. Kobe Steel and Mitsui have been in ongoing negotiations with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals of the Sultanate of Oman concerning the particulars of the natural gas supply. With the location and collaborative framework in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm now firmly established, the feasibility study is set to advance.
Oman, given its abundant natural gas reserves and commitment to renewable energy sources and green hydrogen as detailed in Oman Vision 2040, presents a fitting site for this initiative. The MIDREX process initially employs natural gas as a reducing agent, with a view to eventually substitute it with hydrogen and incorporate carbon capture, utilization, and storage to further decrease CO2 emissions.
The project's objective is to generate 5 million tons of DRI, with potential expansion plans under review. Kobe Steel Group has previously developed and brought to market low CO2 blast furnace steel products and novel DRI technologies such as MIDREX Flex and MIDREX H2. The partnership with Mitsui is intended to leverage their combined experience and technologies towards aiding the steel industry's decarbonization efforts and achieving carbon neutrality.