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Paul Wurth becomes MIDREX® Process construction licensee

Kobe Steel increases market reach for direct reduction steelmaking

March 10, 2014

TOKYO, March 10, 2014 - Kobe Steel, Ltd. of Japan and Paul Wurth S.A., of Luxembourg, a member of the SMS Group, have signed a construction license agreement that enables the SMS Group to market, design and erect MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plants around the world.

Kobe Steel, Ltd. is owner of both Midrex Technologies, Inc., and the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Process - the industry's most productive technology for making high-quality direct reduced iron (DRI) products. DRI and its derivatives, including hot briquetted iron (HBI) are a virgin iron feed stock that is often used in steelmaking applications. Increased global demand for DRI products is fueling interest in direct reduction plants worldwide.

Germany's SMS Group is a world leader in engineering and equipment for the iron and steel industry. The MIDREX® licensing agreement enables SMS to add a new strength to their core capabilities that cover the full range of facilities for the metals sector. The agreement will further extend the market reach of Kobe Steel, Midrex and the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Technology.

“Paul Wurth has gained an excellent reputation in project and site management as well as in providing superb engineering services, making the company an ideal choice for a MIDREX® construction partner," said Shohei Manabe, Senior Officer at Kobe Steel and head of its Iron Unit Division.

Paul Wurth S.A. joins Kobe Steel, Ltd., Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH, and Midrex Technologies Inc. as a construction licensee for MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plants. Kobe Steel assigns a specific construction licensee to build each MIDREX® Plant around the world. The MIDREX® Process is the most widely used direct reduction process, accounting for approximately 80% of the world's annual gas–based DRI production and 60% of the world's total annual production.

In addition to the gas-based MIDREX® Process, the MXCOL® Process uses synthetic gas made from coal or coke oven gas in combination with a MIDREX® Direct Reduction Plant. Paul Wurth is a world leader in coke-making technology and thus brings a new and beneficial dimension to the MIDREX family of partners. MXCOL® is drawing attention in regions where abundant, inexpensive natural gas is unavailable for direct reduction.

About the SMS Group

The SMS Group unites global players in plant and machinery construction for processing steel and nonferrous metals, operating under the roof of SMS Holding GmbH. It consists of the three business areas of SMS Siemag, SMS Meer and Paul Wurth as well as other industrial participants. For more information, visit www.sms-group.com.

About Paul Wurth S.A.

Paul Wurth S.A., an operating unit of the SMS Group, is one of the world leaders in the design and supply of a full range of technological solutions for primary area of the iron and steel industry and affiliated sectors. With more than 1,500 highly-skilled staff and a vast network of international entities and affiliated companies, the Paul Wurth Group prides itself in having a solid global presence in all the major steelmaking markets of the world. For more information, visit: www.paulwurth.com.

About Midrex Technologies, Inc.

Midrex Technologies, Inc. is an international process engineering and technology company providing steelmakers with commercially proven solutions for greater profitability and has been the leading innovator and technology supplier for the direct reduction of iron ore for more than 40 years. The company offers eco-friendly technologies for ironmaking that provide high productivity, outstanding product quality, and cost competitiveness. Midrex has built its foundation upon the MIDREX® Direct Reduction Process that converts iron ore into high-purity direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in steelmaking, ironmaking, and foundry applications. Each year, MIDREX® Plants produce about 60 percent of the world's DRI. For more information, visit: www.midrex.com.

Shohei Manabe, Executive Officer, Kobe Steel, and head of the Iron Unit Division and Marc Solvi, Chief Executive Officer, Paul Wurth, shake hands after signing the construction license agreement.

Photo description
Shohei Manabe, Executive Officer, Kobe Steel, and head of the Iron Unit Division and Marc Solvi, Chief Executive Officer, Paul Wurth, shake hands after signing the construction license agreement.

Standing in back are Hiroshi Ishikawa, General Manager of the Iron Unit Division, Kobe Steel; Thomas Hansmann, Chief Technology Officer, Paul Wurth; and James D. McClaskey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Midrex.