Friday, October 21, 2011

News: Tata Steel investing £3.5m in Rotherham


Tata Steel is investing £3.5m in its Rotherham operations to improve plant reliability and energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and boost production of high-value steel products.

It is part of £4.5m the Indian-owned company are investing in their South Yorkshire speciality steel plants that will save 19,000 mega watt hours (MWh), enough to power 4,000 homes.

At the company's Thrybergh Bar Mill a £1m investment in state-of-the-art surface inspection equipment will improve product quality in some of the most safety-critical products in its range, including steels used in gears, steering and braking systems on cars.

The investment will not result in increased overall production at the mill but will enable Tata Steel to make more of the technically demanding and safety-critical products for the automotive industry.

At Aldwarke, a £2m investment in new equipment for the steelmaking area's fume extraction system will reduce electricity usage by more than 9,000 MWh every year. By enhancing the system with new controls and motors the company will save more than £0.6m a year in energy bills and reduce indirect CO2 emissions by nearly 5,000 tonnes a year.

An investment of more than £0.5m in the Rotherham site's small bloom caster, which moulds liquid steel into a solid form, will improve the reliability of the caster and minimise breakdowns, leading to a more efficient operation throughout the business.

In Stocksbridge the company is investing a further £1m to upgrade the second of its ingot re-heating furnaces to improve energy efficiency, following a similar investment in the first furnace earlier this year.

Mark Broxholme, managing director of Tata Steel's speciality steels business, said: "These investments will not only improve the energy efficiency and reliability of our operations in South Yorkshire, they will also reduce our impact on the environment and boost production of some of our high-value products for the automotive industry.

"In the last year Tata Steel has invested more than £20m in South Yorkshire. This is a huge indication of the company's confidence in our ability to produce some of the most technically demanding and safety-critical products our customers require.

"As an energy-intensive manufacturer, we're continually exploring new ways to reduce energy consumption wherever possible, and to minimise our impact on the environment. These latest investments will significantly reduce our energy bills, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7,000 tonnes a year and help us to become a more efficient and profitable business."

Investment in 2005 saw the Rotherham site at Aldwarke become the focus for steel making, casting and rolling of specialist steels. The steel is manufactured at the Rotherham site before undergoing further refining at the Stocksbridge plant or the Thrybergh Bar Mill to improve the quality.

The company announced last year that the Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire consolidated its return to profitability in the first half of 2011. Tata reported that the business had shown the benefits of a strategy that focuses on exceptional high-value products and sectors and that the proportion of high-value sales in the Speciality Steels portfolio has risen from 50% to 90%.

One key area is aerospace and Tata Steel Speciality has been a leading manufacturer of aerospace steels for more than 60 years and supplies special steels to aerospace component manufacturers around the world.

The company still employs more than 2,000 people in South Yorkshire, including at its technology centre in Rotherham.

At Scunthorpe, Tata Steel has closed the the Bloom and Billet Mill two weeks earlier than planned as part of a £130m cost-cutting programme.

Tata Steel Europe website



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