Sponge iron from Texas generates world-wide interest.
The decision was made in March to locate the direct-reduction plant of the voestalpine Group at La Quinta Trade Gateway in San Patricio County near the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. The plant is designed to annually produce two million tons of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) and has the direct deep-ocean access of the Gulf of Mexico.
The interest of potential customers in sponge iron is tremendous. Now the first interested party has signed a letter of intent to purchase HBI. The largest Mexican steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) will annually purchase several hundred thousand tons of high-quality HBI beginning in 2016 from the new voestalpine location.
Final-stage discussions are now being held with a number of further interested parties.