The first of the megahubs is expected to start operating in 2027

Brazilian mining company Vale has announced that it expects to start building megahubs in the Middle East in 2024 to produce low-carbon iron ore products. The first of them will start working in 2027, informs Reuters.

Last year, Vale announced plans to develop businesses in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman. The products coming from them will include hot briquetted iron for local and foreign markets. Local partners are going to build the necessary logistics infrastructure.

The miner did not provide details on the level of investment in the megahubs or which one will be built first. SteelOrbis notes, according to Eduardo Bartolomeo, CEO of Vale, the company, together with potential partners in the Middle East, is developing plans for the production of 30 million tons of briquettes per year – this volume will be enough for the annual production of 20 million tons of HBI, which will be used in steel industry.

According to Bartolomeo, the company also plans to produce hot briquetted iron in the port of Asu (Rio de Janeiro state), but this will depend on gas prices. In general, by 2030, the company plans to achieve production volumes of pellets and briquettes of 100 million tons. In the current year, this volume is expected to be 36 million and 40 million tons, respectively.

In addition, Vale signed the agreement with the Swedish company H2 Green Steel to explore the joint development of industrial centers in Brazil and North America as part of its decarbonization efforts. The potential businesses will focus on the production of low-carbon products for the steel industry, such as green hydrogen and HBI.

«We see great potential in Brazil as a center for the production of low-carbon steel products. The country offers conditions such as high-quality iron ore and the availability of renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power, that will support the production of green hydrogen. Vale is contributing by offering premium iron ore and developing high value-added products, as well as innovative business models such as these green industrial hubs,” says Marcello Spinelli, vice president of Vale.

As GMK Center reported earlier, Vale in January-June 2023 increased production of iron ore by 6% compared to the same period in 2022 – up to 145.52 million tons. The production of iron ore pellets for January-June 2023 increased by 11.8% compared to the same period in 2022 – up to 17.43 million tons .