By Bizodisha Bureau, January 14, 2020: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL)’s 1.80 MTPA coal gasification-based direct reduced iron (DRI) plant at Angul district in Odisha has resumed operation on Tuesday, the company said in a filing to BSE.

“It is the first plant of its kind in the world where syngas is used in making DRI,” the filing said.

The plant remained idle for long due to the scarcity of coal. Now Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its arm Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd have started selling coal in adequate quantity, therefore gasification and DRI operations have resumed.

The plant was set up by JSPL to ensure the availability of chemical and thermal energy required to produce DRI at an affordable price to reduce environmental impact of coal in the long run.

Direct reduced iron, also called sponge iron, is produced from the direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets, or fines) to iron by reducing gas or elemental carbon produced from natural gas or coal. Many ores are suitable for direct reduction.

The coal gasification process converts high-ash grade coal into synthesis gas or Syngas. The syngas has replaced the costlier natural gas being used by other DRI manufacturers across the globe. The syngas is used as a reductant in converting iron ore/iron pellets into DRI/sponge iron.

JSPL said that it has invested thousands of crores to build the Direct Reduced Iron plant and coal gasification plant. The syngas produced from coal gasification contains methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and other such useful gases, in a particular ratio, which are required to produce DRI from iron ore/pellets. This gasification process has a lesser impact on the environment as compared to the coal combustion process.

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