Vale starts building the first low-carbon pig iron plant

Brazilian miner Vale SA and the authorities in the northern Brazilian state of Pará have started construction of the first pig iron plant that can cut emissions of carbon to as little as zero by using biomass, such as sugarcane pulp and eucalyptus, instead of coal, the People’s Daily says.

The production capacity of the plant, in the city of Marabá, will be 250,000 tonnes of pig iron a year at first, and may grow to 500,000 tonnes a year later on, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The plant, estimated to require investment of 1.6 billion reals (about US$339 million), is due to begin operating in 2025, the report says.

The plant will contribute to the sustainable development of Brazil, the People’s Daily quotes Vale Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo as saying.

Last October Vale and Chinese steelmaker Jiangsu Shagang Group Co. Ltd struck a deal to develop low-carbon pig iron plants.