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Production steels gas

THE proposed large increases in global steel production in WA have been welcomed by the Australian gas industry as a leading indicator of improved metals demand and a sign of economic recovery in the North East Asian markets.

According to Australian Gas Association industry development manager David Parker, the Australian gas industry has been closely monitoring production trends and identifying opportunities for gas-based minerals processing and metal production.

“The gas industry is keen to see the emergence of WA as a regional base for gas-based minerals processing and metal production given the large reserves of the North West Shelf Gas fields and well-established gas transportation and distribution infrastructure,” he said.

“With reports of falling stocks of alumina, nickel and other base metals there is an opportunity to encourage the start up of various metal processing projects.”

He said natural gas had the potential to be a vital link in the processing chain, supplying an efficient and competitive fuel for energy intensive operations.

Projects that may benefit from the upturn in the steel market include the Cape Preston magnetite pellet/DRI steel plant, the Mid-West Iron and Steel project at Oakajee and the steel slab and HBI production at Maitland.

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