An upgrade of electrical, control and instrumentation systems at an ArcelorMittal BOF steelworks in South Africa has increased liquid iron production by 12%, claims ABB, a global control technology specialist.

When ArcelorMittal South Africa shutdown last year with a view to investing heavily in the relining and refurbishment of its sole blast furnace it decided to renew it’s control system at the plant in Newcastle in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The project was two years in planning and six months in execution and has increased production capacity from 1.7Mmt to 1.9Mmt/yr.

The system controls the overall blast furnace process, the bell-less top, casthouse, hot blast stoves, slag treatment, gas cleaning, water cooling system and pulverised coal preparation and injection. Alarm and asset management functions, claims ABB, enables easier operation and maintenance.