Tata Steel has restarted its second blast furnace at the Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales, UK following the completion of a £185M rebuild.

The restarting of Blast Furnace No 4 – the UK’s largest industrial engineering project last year – will improve Tata Steel’s operational flexibility.

The state-of-the-art new furnace is more efficient and will allow Tata Steel to continue to meet the demanding requirements of UK and European manufacturing industries. Production has now started

.Karl Köhler, CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “This rebuild has been a flagship investment, part of our strategy for long-term competitiveness in UK, EU and worldwide markets. The efficiency and sustainability of the new furnace will also make a major contribution to our efforts to create an ‘all-weather’ company in Europe”.
The company took advantage of a period of low steel demand to carry out the project. Restarting the furnace will help Tata UK improve its delivery performance and better serve customers.

Blast Furnace No. 4 was decommissioned in July last year before being completely rebuilt, incorporating the latest technology to improve energy efficiency, environmental performance, safety standards and capacity. The requirements of Tata Steel’s customers were central to the rebuild project. The furnace has enhanced health, safety and environmental care facilities, making it a worldwide standard-setter as one of the most efficient in the world.

Further energy and environmental benefits will be gained from the recently-completed £55M energy-from-heat scheme at Port Talbot’s steelplant which will collect CO from the converters and save 10MW of energy – enough to power 20000 homes.

The start-up of the new furnace has also enabled Tata Steel to restart its second hot strip mill in South Wales at Llanwern works, Newport. In anticipation of the furnace restart, the hot strip mill there resumed production in December.