Tata Steel has invested £400,000 in new technology at its Port Talbot plant in a bid to reduce its consumption of imported natural gas. The Indian steelmaker said the new equipment will reduce carbon emissions by 10kt/yr, while also saving it millions of pounds.
The plant currently generates over 70% of its own energy using process gases which replace natural gas and generate electricity through its onsite power plant.
On-site gases used in the power plant are supplemented with imported natural gas to even out any imbalance in energy content.
Now Tata Steel has invested a further £400,000 in a new ‘gas-enrichment station’ which tops up the site's native gases only when it is required, minimising the consumption of imported gas.
The high-tech addition will reduce reliance on costly natural gas, lower emissions and save the company millions of pounds a year, said Tata.
''We are able to reduce natural gas consumption in our service boilers by around 80%, which equates to around 3300 GigaJoules a week."Imran Shabbir, project process engineer
Project process engineer Imran Shabbir said: “Our on-site boilers use site gases such as blast furnace gas to generate steam. The energy content – or calorific value – of that gas occasionally drops, so we have been using large volumes of natural gas as a secondary fuel to combat this.
"Now however, since natural gas is only injected when the calorific value of the blast furnace gas is low – as opposed to the continuous firing we had previously – we are able to reduce natural gas consumption in our service boilers by around 80%, which equates to around 3300 GigaJoules a week."
''Given the ongoing trend of rising energy costs and the potential savings on the table, we will continue to focus on the company-wide reduction of natural gas.”Imran Shabbir, project process engineer
Shabbir added: "There is also a significant environmental benefit, as the project will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 10kt/yr. We’re not resting on our laurels, though. Given the ongoing trend of rising energy costs and the potential savings on the table, we will continue to focus on the company-wide reduction of natural gas.”