Tata Steel will save 10Mm3 of gas a year − enough to power 5500 homes − at its IJmuiden plant in the Netherlands through the use of newly installed heat-retention boxes.

The €4.5 investment, which will pay for itself in little more than a year, will reduce the amount of heat lost from slabs left to cool between the casting and rolling stages of the production process.

The boxes will store freshly cast steel slabs, keeping them hot until they are required for rolling on plant's Hot Strip Mill. As a result less time and energy will be required to reheat the slab prior to rolling.

As well as reduced production time on the Hot Strip Mill and the lower energy requirement, the project will bring an additional benefit in reducing CO2 emissions from power generation by about 22kt/y.