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Siemens Starts up World’s Largest DR Plant at Hadeed

Siemens Metals Technologies starts up a 1.76 million tonnes/year direct-reduction plant for Saudi Iron & Steel. Hot DRI from the new DR plant is charged directly to the EAF for an energy savings of up to 20%..

Siemens Metals Technologies has started up the world's largest direct-reduction plant for Saudi Arabian steel producer Saudi Iron & Steel Co. (Hadeed). The plant has an annual production capacity of 1.76 million tonnes of direct-reduced iron (DRI).

This facility, located in Al-Jubail on the eastern seaboard of the Saudi Arabian peninsula, is part of a recently started up Siemens-supplied steel mill that is capable of producing 1.4 million tonnes of flat products per year. In addition to featuring the world’s largest direct-reduction (DR) plant, the facility also incorporates the hot transport of DRI from the DR plant to EAF via a hot-transport system. Hot charging the DRI directly into the EAF will help to reduce electric steelmaking costs as well as tap-to-tap times.


Hot DRI is mechanically transported by conveyor to two EAF hot-DRI storage bins via a so-called hot-transport system. The conveyor is covered with an insulated steel hood to minimize temperature loss and oxidation of the hot DRI during transport. With this solution, it is possible to charge DRI into the electric arc furnace at a temperature exceeding 650°C, reducing the electrical energy consumption required for melting by up to 20%. The hot charge also allows Hadeed to achieve shorter tap-to-tap times and a corresponding higher productivity as compared to a cold-DRI based process.

Steel production at Hadeed is based on the melting of scrap and DRI in a ratio of approximately 25% scrap and 75% DRI. As part of the so-called Steel Plant Expansion Project, Hadeed commissioned Siemens Metals Technologies with projects for the turnkey expansion of the flat-products facility to enable the additional production of 1.4 million tons of steel per year. This additional output would increase the total annual steel-production capacity at Hadeed to approximately five million tonnes.

This entire project comprised the supply of the 1.76-million tonne/year direct-reduction plant, a 150-tonne electric arc furnace (EAF), a 150-tonne ladle furnace, and single-strand slab caster, plus the related dedusting, automation and auxiliary facilities. The new steel mill was built adjacent to the existing flat-steel production facility and production commenced in March 2007, followed by the subsequent startup of the DR plant..

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