PyroGenesis Canada signs energy transition contract with leading global steelmaker

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Montreal-based PyroGenesis Canada Inc. has signed a small contract with one of the five largest steelmakers in the world.

The steelmaker, an overseas entity with manufacturing facilities on five continents, is not being named.

The steelmaker will assess the applicability of PyroGenesis’ fully electric plasma torches for use in the steelmaker’s  manufacturing facilities as a primary heat source in the steelmaking process. Specifically the assessment will examine the use of the plasma torches during the production of direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in electric arc furnaces (EAF).

The project agreement outlines the initial steps for providing plasma-specific data and analysis in support of the client’s energy-transition goals. The first step is a feasibility study to gather initial data for evaluating the potential use of plasma in the client’s factories as a process heating source for the DRI process. The duration of the study is approximately 60 days, commencing in April 2024.

Once the study is completed, and contingent on the results, the steelmaker has indicated that it may proceed to a live experimental validation study within their facilities, using PyroGenesis’ plasma torches, as per a separate to-be-negotiated agreement.

“This agreement acknowledges the continued interest in our solutions by the iron and steel industry. Combined with the advances we are making in developing a patented plasma solution for use in iron ore pelletization, the project announced today represents yet another example of the fast-growing shift taking place across multiple heavy industries which are all being challenged to decarbonize,” said P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. “Steelmaking is an industry where we continue to make inroads where, obviously, the potential is enormous. This particular client is considering plasma as a heat source further down the value chain, and we are proud that our electric plasma torches are under serious consideration as part of their commitment to change in such a major process step.”

The steelmaker’s goal is to understand how plasma can be used during the reduction step of iron ore, where oxygen is removed from iron ore pellets or powders to convert the raw ore into a metallic state, thereby creating “sponge iron” that is then added to an EAF for processing into steel. The DRI method for ore reduction for use in EAF was originally developed to overcome some of the challenges of the traditional blast furnace method, including the high costs of capital investment in an integrated steel mill, limited supply in some regions of the coking coal required by blast furnaces, and perhaps most importantly, the environmental impact that blast furnace methods can have.i

The development of plasma torches is part of PyroGenesis Canada’s three-tiered solution ecosystem that aligns with economic drivers that are key to global heavy industry. Plasma torches for use in process heating and industrial furnaces within manufacturing facilities is part of the Energy Transition & Emission Reduction tier, where fuel switching to the Company’s electric-powered plasma torches helps heavy industry reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

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