Oman’s OPAZ in deal with Mitsui & Kobe Steel to develop iron metallics project

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Mitsui & Kobe low CO2 iron metallics project in Oman

Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two Japanese companies, Mitsui & Co., Ltd and Kobe Steel, to develop a low carbon dioxide iron metallics project at Duqm.

The two companies also signed a land reservation agreement with the Port of Duqm Company and an MoU with the Centralized Utilities Company (Marafiq) for the provision of power and water to the project.

The project is expected to produce five million tones of direct reduced iron through the MIDREX Process. By using technically and commercially proven production methods, Mitsui and Kobe Steel aim to provide a near-term decarbonization solution to the steelmaking industry.

In the long run, the project will aim for further decarbonization through measures such as the replacement of natural gas with hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), with a goal to expand production capacity as well.

Mitsui and Kobe Steel will conduct the detailed business study, with an aim to commence low CO2 iron metallics production by 2027. The products will be supplied to businesses in Asia including Kobe Steel and other global markets such as Europe.

The partnership comes as a part of the Oman government’s efforts at economic diversification and employment promotion through the implementation of Oman Vision 2040 and other policies. The government aims to make the country a regional hub by developing a new industry other than oil and gas. Renewable energy and green hydrogen projects are characterized as a pillar of the vision.

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