Port Talbot blast furnace re-lit

Posted on 07 Feb 2019 and read 416 times
Port Talbot blast furnace re-litThe First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, visited Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site last week, following the completion of a project to extend the operational life of one of its two blast furnaces.

Engineers drained Blast Furnace Five last autumn in order to carry out vital engineering work that should extend its life by up to seven years.

The giant furnace has been re-lit, and the first iron produced has been turned into a finished steel product for a UK customer.

Mr Drakeford was joined on the site by Hans Fischer, Tata Steel’s chief executive of European operations, who said: “We are delighted to welcome the First Minister to Port Talbot to see the biggest single investment we have made here for more than five years.

This project demonstrates our commitment to building a stronger and more sustainable steel-making business in the UK, now and in the future.”

Once the heart of the furnace — normally operating at more than 1,200°C — had cooled last year, skilled engineers replaced part of the heat-resistant interior and vital structural parts, along with the waste gas and dust extraction system.

The final part of the process involved the hot-blast main being opened, injecting air at 1,100°C to bring the furnace roaring back to life.

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