Metso Insights Case studies Mining and metals refining First pellets produced at JSW Steel’s new Vijayanagar plant
Metals refining
Nov 18, 2021

First pellets produced at JSW Steel’s new Vijayanagar plant

A state-of-the art pellet plant commissioned and started by Metso Outotec for JSW Steel helped the company enable its growth strategy and successfully roll out interface management for its pellet plant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About JSW Steel Ltd.

JSW Steel Ltd. is one of the leading Indian producers of carbon and alloy steel products and one of the 20 largest steelmakers in the world. It is part of the JSW Group, one of the fastest growing companies in India with a global footprint covering over 140 countries across core economic sectors including steel, energy, infrastructure, and cement. The group has been part of major projects that have played a key role in India’s growth.

JSW Steel is on course to become the country's largest steel producer on the back of recent expansions and acquisitions, with capacity set to reach 27 million tons during 2021. The company recently announced its long-term target is to expand this capacity to 45 million tpa well before 2030. This growth is remarkable considering that JSW Steel was established less than 40 years ago, when the Jindal Group acquired a small steel mill in Maharashtra in 1982. Soon after, the group set up its first steel plant near Mumbai. Jindal Vijayanagar Steel was established in 1994, with its plant located at Toranagallu in the Ballari-Hospet area, heart of the high-grade iron ore belt in India. The company has operated under the name JSW Steel since 2005.

A long history of collaboration

Metso Outotec has been supporting the growth of JSW Steel for over 30 years. All of the company’s integrated steel plants feature sinter and pellet plants designed by either Metso or Outotec or their predecessors.

A sinter plant at the site in Salem (formerly Siscol) has been operating since 1992. In Dolvi, Metso Outotec supplied the technology for two pellet plants, one of which was installed by Metso in 2012 and the other from Outotec which is currently undergoing commissioning. Between 2004 and 2010, Outotec supplied engineering and supply packages for four sinter plants with a total capacity of more than 12 mtpa at the Vijayanagar site in Toranagallu, while Metso was supplying pellet plants in Vijayanagar in 1995 and 2008, each with a capacity of 4 mtpa.

The Project

In 2018 Metso was awarded the contract for engineering and equipment supplies for the PP#3 pellet plant at Vijayanagar; Metso also delivered the wet grinding and filtration systems for this plant, which has a design capacity of 6.85 mtpa of blast furnace pellets. The straight grate indurating machine with a reaction area of 816 m² (four meters wide by 204 meters long) is among the largest ever built. The burners are designed to fire using mixed gas, which is a blend of blast furnace gas and coke oven gas, to achieve JSW Steel’s goal of maximum energy recovery.

The PP#3 project engineering and equipment design and delivery was split between Metso Outotec units in the USA and India. Close cooperation with the local organization in India was the key factor in ensuring a smooth project execution that adhered to the original schedule at all phases.

Complete basic engineering was provided for the following plant areas:

  • Wet grinding and slurry transfer to filtration

  • Filtration and slurry handling

  • Additive storage and grinding

  • Mixing and balling

  • Indurating

  • Hearth layer separation and product loadout

  • Utility systems

The basic engineering supplied by Metso Outotec laid the foundations for success for JSW Steel and its local contractors, who were responsible for detail engineering, procurement of auxiliary equipment and materials, construction, and finally commissioning and plant start-up.

The seamless cooperation between Metso Outotec’s teams in the USA and India, the high quality of the basic engineering, and the technical assistance provided to JSW and their contractors for the detail engineering, procurement, and construction resulted in a successful project delivery. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Metso Outotec’s experts had to provide most of their support remotely for the final phase of construction, commissioning, and start-up. Thanks to the close cooperation with the client’s construction and operations team and the high degree of trust between the two parties, this did not affect the outcome of the project.

The Vijayanagar plant produced its first batch of pellets on March 20, 2021. The plant is in the process of ramping up production as planned, and Metso Outotec experts are continuing to provide remote support as required.  

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