The world’s first manufacturer of gas-based sponge iron is Iran.
Owing to the large quantity of gas, cheap electricity, skillful people and having suitable resources of iron, our country has properly moved towards the production of sponge iron by the method of Arc Furnace (AF) (not Blast Furnace). This method has been employed for many years with MIDREX technology, which is pertained to an American technology. It is in accordance with the initiation of steelmaking units since the last three years ago with PERED technology, which was a big step taken towards independence in the present manufacturing.
MME company and global registration of PERED technology
MME was registered in Germany in 1996. In fact, owners of this Iranian company are working under the supervision of the Iran Mining Industries Development Renovation Organization (IMIDRO). Although the company is a subsidiary of IMIDRO organization, it has not received any funding from the government yet and it is entirely run privately and it is also sponsored by its own projects.
From the first days of its formation, the company aimed at filling the technological gap in the country’s steel industry. Thus, it has moved towards technological activities and has never taken executive actions. One of the most significant movements in this company, that has reached the world record, is PERED technology.
PERED technology is an optimized way in order to produce sponge iron, which was registered globally in 2006. This technology, which is called PERED (Persian Reduction), has been registered in Germany under the license of the Iranian company MME. There are countless benefits in using this new method to produce sponge iron in comparison to previous methods.
Optimization in the process of production, with local technology, is one of the most imperative achievements in the steel industry, which is based on the scientific principles and experiences of Iranian experts over more than two decades of sponge iron production in Iran.
According to the beliefs of experts in this field, PERED technology is considered to be a stunning success in the steel industry. In fact, it has been implemented and launched in four separated projects out of eight steelmaking projects in the country, comprises Shadegan Steel, Miyaneh Steel, Neyriz Steel and Baft Steel, which have achieved acceptable results.
In an interview with Dunya-e-Eghtesad press, Hossein Aziz Taemeh, the head of the Tehran branch of MME, explained the achievements of PERED localized technology.
Taemeh projected the formation process of PERED technology in Iran: “Most of the direct reduction plants that produce sponge iron in the country with MIDREX technology, are specifically pertained to the America over the past decades.” Over the past decades, direct recovery units have always given their feedback on these technologies to the owner of the company, and its owners have enhanced their technical knowledge based on the given data, without providing this knowledge to us. MIDREX technology has been improved and stabilized in Iran over many years. However, all over many years, the owners of this technology in the world have never given us even a simple map of this technology. In fact, Iranian steelmaking had become a kind of plant for their activities and had completed the American MIDREX technology. In fact, it goes back to the time that we send the company’s feedback while we did not receive any feedback in return. MIDREX gained a high valued license from each plant, and the only map that was received by us was the original map of launching Mobarakeh Steel company.
Regarding to the fact that the owners of MIDREX technology received large sums of money from investors under their technology license, he added that “Technology that was used under MIDREX license in Iran’s units has already received two different license fees from Iran during recent years;” One is a construction license and the other is a mining license. MIDREX technology received 1600000 million $ to build each 800,000 tonne units.
In addition, the fact that they took their patent from us is not debatable, however, under the same license they had to deliver us some services that did not do anymore. Moreover, with the help of the received feedback and information from Iran’s plant, they were able to enhance their knowledge without any cost.
Advantages of PERED technology
The head of the Tehran branch of MME Company declared the profits of “PERED” technology in comparison to similar technologies: Although the design of “PERED” technology has been formed during two years, however its credit goes back to 20 years ago. PERED technology is in fact based on two decades of steelmaking information in Iran. Furthermore, this technology has solved lots of previous problems and has many advantages over other technologies.
Taemeh contended that “The first benefit of this subject is the primary assets in order to launch a plant is about 10 percent lower in PERED technology than in other technologies.” Therefore, due to the low costs in the tender for the eight-steel projects, the company won the tender, and the primary assets would be very attractive for investments.
Referring to other benefits of this Iranian technology in the steel industry, he added that “One of the most significant advantages of PERED technology is the reduction of energy consumption, including water, electricity as well as gas, which has been reduced by 10 to 20% compared to other technologies.” Since the role of water consumption in industries is essential in our country, where there are water shortages, one of our major objectives in PERED technology was to decrease water consumption, so we have been already able to moderate water consumption by 30 to 40%.
Taemeh also mentioned the excellence of the products in the four launched units: In terms of quality, the production of units that have been launched with high-tech technology is far better than other comparable technologies. Although all units that has been stablished with PERED technology in Iran have a capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year, it is also able to be upgraded to a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes.
Taemeh declared that On the other hand, when a contractor or a unit contracts with Iran technologies and functions, the next interactions with them will be simply in person. Moreover, if any problem finds, it can be done in person that will be a great advantage. Whenever there is a good Iranian technology, it should be welcomed and foreign technologies should not be more attracted in the case of being a foreign technology.
The difference between “PERED” technology and other technologies
It is argued with many people that PERED technology, with a few modifications, is similar to MIDREX technology. In response Taemeh answered that “PERED technology has been registered globally by MME in Germany, if there was such a fact, MIDREX itself would have claimed such a thing, and this technology would not have been allowed to be emerged.” PERED technology is 25% dissimilar to MIDREX technology and differs from MIDREX furnace in 42 items, which has led to its global registration and there was not any company during these 16 years to be able to have such claim.
Taemeh also emphasized that the issue is pertained to the benefits of some groups which are tied to MIDREX technology. Therefore, they desire to use this technology. Some people, who lived inside the country, claimed that this technology would not have any practicality, while this technology has been stablished and functioned perfectly for three years.
The head of the Tehran Branch of MME Company in response to the question of which indoor technology has been formed in Iran based on PERED technology? answered that the design of PERED technology is designed in terms of Iranian conglomerate, since Iranian conglomerate are not very high quality and do not have an acceptable hardness and can be easily powdered and pounded, it requires to be recovered based on its characteristics that has already taken into consideration with PERED. The Iranian conglomerate results to shut down the plant and needs to be put back into cycle. One of the benefits of the PERED is that it can be put back into cycle immediately after the plant is shouted down. Moreover, we improved many parameters according to the Iran situation.
Foreign requests for PERED
“We are the only Iranian company that were able to export this technology,” Taemeh said. he added that we have designed a 300,000-tonne plant for China with using the PERED technology method. Which are totally manufactured in Iran and exported to China, and the plant is based on hot, briquettes and hot furnaces. We have stablished a furnace in China and it will be launched at the end of this year.
He also noted that a noteworthy issue is the welcome of foreigners to technology. We have had some travels to Russia, Oman, and the Arab countries from technology-driven plants that have had the incredible design for them. Agreeing contracts with these countries at the time of determining the financing issues owing to sanctions is going to be problematic, and this is the reason why it does not lead to agreeing some contracts.
He also concluded that referring to MME’s new projects, “Our main future plan lies in the field of mega modules”. Mega module engineering based on PERED method is currently under process and the initial designs has been already done. In addition, the announcement of the implementation of mega modules is going to be in the following months. The capacity of mega modules is up to two million tonnes and we have participated in the tender of Kurdistan Steel Mega modules accordingly. We also aim at launching Sefiddasht steelmaking in a method designed with MME. Then, regarding to our new programs, Baft 2 units are going to be activated and Miane 2 is in the direct regeneration by the PERED method.
It is worth noting that 15 people in the German MME company and 30 people are also employed in the Iran branch.