Steel giant plans eco-friendly plant

Tata Steel, one of the world's largest steel manufacturers, has announced plans to turn a plant in Wales into an energy efficient model of the future.

The global giant – which operates in 26 countries – will reduce the power demands of its Port Talbot location by such significant levels, it claims, that the energy saved could be used to power 20,000 homes.

To do this, Tata will invest £53m in a new cooling system designed to harness the extreme temperatures generated through steel production, which can reach up to 1500 degrees Celsius. The cooling system will create steam which in turn will power turbines; generating up to 15 per cent of the plant’s energy – or 10MW of electricity.

Tata state that the current system at the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking plant is in need of replacement and that the decision was made to take advantage of the greener options now available, to ensure a more sustainable future for the business.

“This project makes further advances towards our vision of becoming self-sufficient in energy, and also further improves our environmental performance,” said Tata’s Jon Ferriman.

“By equipping our BOS plant with a state-of-the-art evaporative cooling system, we will improve Port Talbot’s productivity and energy efficiency. We will also build on the ability to recycle and reuse process gases that our Energy Recovery plant brought us.”

Much of the work will coincide with further upgrades taking place at the plant, starting in 2012.

Sam Plester

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