12 December 2022
Corporate News

160,000 tonnes of CO2 savings from Tata Steel’s blast furnace improvement programme


A programme of improvements at Tata Steel’s blast furnaces will reduce the site’s carbon footprint by about 160,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. 


That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from nearly 100,000 cars* or those from the energy used by around 50,000 households (a town the size of Cheltenham).

The two Port Talbot furnaces, which currently produce around 3.6million tonnes of liquid iron each year, are powered by high pressure ‘hot blast’ air that is superheated to temperatures of more than 1,100°C.

Recycled on-site process gases are used to heat the air in seven refractory-brick-lined ‘stoves’, before it is injected into the furnaces. Each stove is around 45m high and 8m diameter.

Project Manager Andrew McGregor, who is in charge of the improvement programme, said: “Stoves are absolutely critical to the running of our blast furnaces. Any loss of efficiency in heating the air means we either have to use more gas than is optimum, or we have to replace that lost energy by using more metallurgical coke to chemically reduce the iron ore inside the furnaces.”

The continuous improvement programme of work in three of the seven stoves will upgrade the burners that generate heat, with two new best available technology units being installed. 

Many of the refractory bricks that store heat and make hot blast air, are also being replaced. The work is being carried out while the remaining operational stoves are in use.

Andrew said: “This programme of activity will make a significant difference to our carbon footprint, our energy costs and our operational stability and efficiency.”



  • *In the UK, average CO2 emissions per car are 138.4 grams per km (or 221.4 grams per mile) (Dept of Transport). Considering the average car drives 7,600 miles per year in the UK, the average car releases 1,682,383 grams of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. (1.68tonnes) (DoT)
  • The stoves’ burners use primarily blast furnace gas, enriched with some coke oven gas and natural gas.
  • At good operating levels, the stoves will produce over 200,000m3 (about 80 Olympic sized swimming pools or 2½ Royal Albert Halls) of hot blast air every hour at a pressure of around 3 bar or 44 pounds per square inch (about the same as a car tyre)


For further information: Tim Rutter on +44 (0)7850 990755 or tim.rutter@tatasteeleurope.com

Port Talbot Blast Furnaces


About Tata Steel UK

  • The Tata Steel Group has been named one of the most ethical companies in the world, and is among the top producing global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes. 
  • Tata Steel in the UK has the ambition to produce net-zero steel by 2050 at the latest, and to have reduced 30% of its CO2 emissions by 2030. 
  • Tata Steel is the largest steelmaker in the UK with primary steelmaking at Port Talbot in South Wales supporting manufacturing and distribution operations at sites across Wales, England and Northern Ireland as well as Norway, Sweden, France and Germany. It also benefits from a network of international sales offices around the world.
  • Tata Steel employs more than 8,000 people and has an annual crude steel capacity of 5 million tonnes, supplying high-quality steel products to demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering. 
  • Tata Steel Group is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations and a commercial presence across the world. 
  • The Group recorded a consolidated turnover of US $32.83 Bn in the financial year ending March 31, 2022.


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