BOI, DOST agencies sign deal on iron and steel study

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THE Board of Investments (BOI) and the Department of Science and Technology’s Metals Industry Research and Development (MIRDC), along with the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) have agreed to conduct a feasibility study on boosting the local production of iron using the country’s indigenous mineral resources.

The study is being conducted in line with the goal of the Iron and Steel Roadmap for the Philippines to be able to locally produce iron and possibly reductants using available indigenous mineral resources, and eventually integrate them with existing steel making infrastructures.

“A genuine local iron and steel industry is a strategic for the country’s socio-economic development. It can serve as backbone of the economy as it is highly interrelated with many sectors specifically infrastructure, power, transportation, and the manufacturing industries,” Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and BOI Managing Ceferino Rodolfo said in a statement.

“In fact, President Rodrigo Duterte gave specific directives to look into the viability of local magnetite ores, particularly black sand, as intermediate iron products for use in the production of iron and steel,” Rodolfo said.

Under the MOA, the MIRDC will serve as the implementing agency for the study with the BOI, through the Manufacturing Resurgence Program-Industry Development Program, providing the funds and PCIEERD coming up with counterpart funds.

The study also aims to provide technological solutions to obtain maximum benefit from value adding of iron resources in the country. Specifically, it will commission bench scale testing of local magnetite ores through iron making technologies such as Midrex, RH Process and the New Zealand Process.

It also aims to determine the feasibility of putting up an iron making facility in the country in the context of metallurgical testing results, availability and location of black sand and reductants, the location of markets and other necessary factors such transport facilities, power sourcing, among others.

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