Home > Press Releases > 2010 >

Press Releases

The information on this Web site is presented "as is." Product availability, organization, and other content may differ from the time the information was originally posted. Changes may take place without notice.

  • Email
  • print

Kobe Steel receives investment permission from Vietnam for ITmk3® project

April 2, 2010

Kobe Steel, Ltd. received an investment license on March 31 from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to construct ITmk3® ironmaking plants.

In two phases, Kobe Steel plans to build ITmk3® plants with a total capacity of 2.4 million metric tons per year in Vietnam's Nghe An Province. The total project cost is estimated to reach 100 billion yen. Kobe Steel is considering the formation of a business in Vietnam to produce and market iron nuggets using the next-generation ITmk3® ironmaking process that it developed.

Plans call for the early establishment of a locally incorporated company through which the project can be carried out. A detailed feasibility study will be conducted, aiming for first-phase construction to begin in January 2011.

Vietnam forecasts that domestic steel demand will continue to grow in the future. Currently, Vietnam is largely dependent on importing scrap and semi-finished steel products to meet its iron unit requirements. As the ITmk3® Process can produce high-grade iron units from Vietnam's iron ore and coal, Vietnam has high expectations for the ITmk3® project. Vietnam's iron ore from the Thach Khe mine contains a relatively high amount of iron. However, it also contains much zinc, which makes it difficult to use in blast furnaces. The ITmk3® Process will enable Vietnam to make effective use of its mineral resources, and the use of relatively inexpensive raw materials will help improve the profitability of the project.

Project outline
  1. Site: Hoang Mai Industrial Zone, Nghe An Province, Vietnam
  2. Facilities: Four ITmk3® plants (Phase 1: two plants, Phase 2: two plants)
  3. Product: Iron nuggets, 2.4 million metric tons/year capacity (600,000 metric tons x 4 units)
  4. Users: Vietnamese market and overseas market
  5. Total project cost: About 100 billion yen (Phase 1: about 50 billion yen)
Locally incorporated company
  1. Company name: Kobelco Iron Nugget Vietnam Limited Liability Company
  2. To be established: April 2010
  3. Purpose: Carry out detailed feasibility study, make license applications for project construction, etc.
  4. Equity: US$9.8 million, 100% equity to be held by Kobe Steel
About Vietnam's Thach Khe iron ore mine
The iron ore for the ITmk3® plants is anticipated to come from the Thach Khe mine in central Vietnam. As the iron ore contains a high amount of zinc (about 0.07%), it is difficult to use in blast furnaces. (The amount of zinc in blast furnaces is generally controlled to about 0.007%.) However, using the ITmk3® Process to make high-purity iron nuggets will enable the effective utilization of low-grade iron ore.