30 August 2022

Gas enrichment project reduces CO2 emissions by 10,000 tonnes a year

Blast furnace in the forefront with wind turbines sitting on top of the mountain in the background

A crucial new high-tech addition to Port Talbot’s Energy department is reducing reliance on costly natural gas, lowering emissions, and saving the company millions of pounds each year.

With climate change so critical, and energy costs sky-high, the boost could not have come at a better time. 

The Port Talbot site currently generates over 70% of its own energy requirements by utilising process gases to both replace natural gas and to generate electricity through its onsite power plant, which was recently upgraded with a new £37million turbo alternator. 

Until now, on-site gases used in the power plant have been constantly supplemented with imported natural gas to even out any variations in calorific value. 

Now, a new ‘Gas-enrichment station’ costing nearly £400,000 smartly tops up the site’s native gases only when it is required, so minimising the consumption of imported gas. 

Tata Steel’s 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,” said Imran. 

“There is also a significant environmental benefit, as the project will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent to flying an airplane around the world 888 times*.” 

“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.” 


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The 30MW turbo-alternator installed at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site in 2021 at a cost of around £37 million, has reduced emissions from external power generation by more than 40,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.  
Press release here.

*How Long Does It Take to Travel Around The World (viatravelers.com) 45 – 55 hours to fly round the world 

Aviation (carbonindependent.org) 250kg per hour = 12500kg per trip = 12.5 tonnes 

10000t/12.5t/trip = 888 trips 

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

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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