“There will still be a tightness of availability of HBI [in 2021]," John Atherton, secretary general at the International Iron Metallics Association (IIMA) said. "There is a real potential for that to happen next year.”
IIMA expects HBI and direct-reduced iron (DRI) to play a key role as the steelmaking industry seeks to reduce its carbon footprint over the coming decades.
Russia's Metalloinvest is the largest global HBI supplier through its wholly owned Lebedinsky GOK (LGOK) mine, 650km south of Moscow, but "is maxed out [with HBI shipments] at the moment,” Atherton said. Metalloinvest is “planning on building a new HBI plant [at LGOK], but it will not come on stream until 2024,” he added.
When built, the company's fourth HBI plant will have a capacity of 2.5 million...