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Ferrominera's second pellet line expected to October: Maduro

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2019-03-11   Views:44
The construction of a 3.3 million mt/year pellet line by Venezuela's sole iron ore producer, Ferrominera Orinoco, is expected to be concluded in October, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday.

"I will be in October putting into operation the second pellet line, with production capacity of 3.3 million mt per year," Maduro said during a visit to the Guayana region, where most of the country's industrial sector is based.
Previous official information said the installed capacity of the second pellet plant would be 3 million mt/year.

The previous scheduled startup was June 2019. No reason was given for the delay.

The pellet line would boost FMO's production capacity to 6.3 million mt/year. The cost of building the line was expected to be $425 million, with the capital coming mostly from Chinese funds. China's Metallurgical Group Corp. (MCC Group) is in charge of the construction.

Currently, FMO's pellet line is operating at much reduced rates, which is hurting Venezuela's hot-briquetted iron industry. Located in Puerto Ordaz, Bolivar state, FMO supplies all of Venezuela's steelmakers and HBI producers. Depending on production and domestic demand, it also allocates product for export.

In addition to its pellet capacity, FMO's current installed capacity is 25 million mt/year of iron ore and 1 million mt/year of HBI. Ferrominera plans to expand its annual iron ore production capacity to 40 million mt from the current 25 million mt within three to four years, as a result of planned railway construction, the company said in 2017-18.
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