Historical background

Indian Steel scenario in early seventies was looking up with substantial addition in capacity in secondary sector through arc furnace route, which required substantial quantity of scrap. Research and development was taking place to substitute steel melting scrap by directly reduced iron (DRI) which was commonly known as Sponge Iron. While DRI through gaseous reduction was established worldwide, DRI using non cocking coal was in the elementary stage. In this backdrop TRFI took the first step to set up a coal based sponge iron plant in India.

The process technology developed by Allis Chalmers Corporation, USA based on pilot plant studies known as ACCAR process was used initially. This process used 80% coal and 20% oil, which subsequently became uneconomical due to increase in crude prices. The process also demanded high grade of coal, stock of which was depleting. The process also could not accept Indian coal which had high ash content. It therefore became necessary to modify the process to overcome the limitation of the ACCAR process.

Through painstaking research and development, the ACCAR process technology was modified and in the process a new technology emerged which dispenses with liquid fuel, had the flexibility of accepting use of coal having ash over 30% etc.

The new process technology thus developed was patented in 1988 as "OSISL Process" and adopted by OSISL for its DRI facilities. OSISL Process subsequently became popular and was widely accepted and recognized as one of the leading coal based sponge iron technology in the world..

OSISL set up its Project & Engineering Division at Bhubaneswar in 1992 to enable setting up of Sponge Iron plants in the country based on its patented process. The technology was adopted for use in projects funded by IDBI, World Bank (IFC) and the German Development Bank (DEG) OSISL along with TRFI and Orissa Agro Industries Corporation jointly promoted the first Food Processing Unit in the State under the Company Bilati Orissa Ltd. in 1994 to give an impetus to the farmers and the agriculture industry.