Materials Society visit to Corus Strip Products UK Port Talbot Works – steelmaking and reductions in carbon footprint
On 27 January Port Talbot Works hosted a visit from 45 members of the South Wales Materials Association. The visit, organised by John Preston, Corus Through Process Optimisation, included a tour of the harbour, blast furnaces, BOS gas recovery and then time in the steel plant control room observing the full cycle of steelmaking operations. Expert guides from Steel & Slab Technical were on hand to answer the many questions from the visitors.
The tour was followed by a lecture from Ben Burggraaff (Energy Optimisation Manager) on the BOS Gas Recovery project - the steel industry is responsible for around 14% of greenhouse gas emissions in Wales so can make a significant contribution to reducing the country's carbon footprint. The £60m "BOS plant recovery" scheme at Port Talbot will use waste gases from steelmaking, which are currently burnt off, to produce energy for the site, resulting in nearly 300,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide savings - the equivalent of taking around 120,000 cars off the road, in addition to saving Corus' energy costs. The scheme will also contribute 1/3 of the Welsh Assembly's CO2 emissions reduction target.
The lecture was followed by a wide variety of questions on many topics - some relating to the BOS Gas project, as well as others on topics ranging from windpower to tropical fish and the effect of particle fallout on rainfall. Overall the visitors were left with a positive impression of the Steelworks and actions taken to manage emissions and optimise energy usage.