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Cooling conveyor upgrade for Voestalpine

Aumund Fördertechnik is to undertake a project to upgrade two conveying lines for Voestalpine Texas LLC.

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Cooling conveyor upgrade for Voestalpine

Four years ago, Austria-based steel company Voestalpine commissioned what was then the world’s largest and most advanced plant for hot briquetted iron (HBI), in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, as part of its ‘Go West’ project.


Aumund Fördertechnik GmbH supplied two type FPB-K Flat Plate Conveyors for cooling. The patented gentle HBI cooling on Aumund Plate Conveyors is claimed to contribute significantly to ensuring the high quality of the product.


The HBI Evaporation Cooler System is designed to ensure cooling of HBI in such a way as to protect the integrity of the valuable product just after it has been produced in the direct reduction and briquetting process.


The two Flat Plate Conveyors spray the HBI with water mist and cool it gently from 800 degC down to 100 degC. At a nominal conveying capacity of 141 tph, the conveying throughput is up to 285 tph each. Each conveyor has a centre distance of approximately 72m.


The Aumund Plate Conveyors have been in continuous operation since 2016 without any problems, despite being subjected to considerable mechanical and process-related pressure. These strains on the equipment, as well as the immense focus on availability, have now resulted in Voestalpine Texas LLC placing a conversion order with Aumund to upgrade both conveying lines to an enhanced overall design including modified chain drive.


The conversion, scheduled to take place in November 2020, is due to completed within 30 days. It will focus on the optimisation of the conveyor section design, with improved cleaning, including the chain strand at the drive. The conversion will ensure that the Cooling Conveyors continue to operate without interruption. The plant will then resume operations before the end of the year.


The Voestalpine Corpus Christi plant, which produces 2 Mtpa of high-quality HBI, supplies around 40% of it by ship to the Voestalpine AG steel plant in Linz, Austria. The HBI contributes significantly to decarbonisation and reduction of CO2 emissions. It is batched into the blast furnaces and therefore reduces the dependency on and consumption of sinter and coke.


The rest of the production of HBI from Corpus Christi remains in the NAFTA Region (USA, Canada, Mexico).


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