To help energy companies satisfy periods of high consumer demand this winter, Tata Steel will be voluntarily slowing or pausing some of its UK operations for hours at a time on particularly cold evenings.
Not only that, but the Port Talbot steelworks (which has its own power generating capacity through the use of its on-site process gases) may even be able to export electricity to the grid during these periods.
In an arrangement called ‘Load Management’, Tata Steel responds to prices (which change hourly for electricity) and turns down or turns off some energy-intensive production lines such as rolling mills and coating lines, during peak periods.
Steve Maynard, Works Manager Energy said: “We have a highly developed understanding of energy markets, so we can minimise costs while also contributing to the security of the energy system. We voluntarily minimise our pull on the grid on the coldest evenings when the margin between supply and demand are at their tightest, and our detailed planning makes sure we avoid any disruption to our own steel customers.”
Steve continued: “The continuous processes at Port Talbot such as the Blast Furnaces, Coke Ovens and Steelplant, which run 24/7 365 days a year, will still be operating and producing process gases that we can use to generate electricity in our Power Plant.”
He added: “In 2020 we invested around £37million in a new 30MW turbo-alternator (the equivalent of powering around 60,000 homes*), which allows us to use even more of these process gases than before, and is helping the steelworks to become more energy self-sufficient.”
- * ofgem.gov.uk
- The Port Talbot steelworks is currently around 81% self-sufficient for gas and 63% self-sufficient in electricity generated at its on-site power plant.
- PORT TALBOT:
- While maintaining its service to customers, Port Talbot site is likely to be pausing its Sinter plant hot and cold rolling mills for some hours during the coldest spells this winter, while maximizing the output of its on-site power plant
- While maintaining its service to customers, the world class packaging steels business at Trostre in Llanelli is likely to be pausing its ‘Five Stand’ cold rolling mill and Double Reduction mill as well as reducing the highest loads on its electro-tinning lines for short periods during the coldest spells this winter.
- While maintaining its service to customers, the world class automotive business at Llanwern in Newport is likely to be pausing its cold rolling and pickling lines for some hours during the coldest spells this winter.
- While maintaining its service to customers, the world class tubes business at Corby in Northamptonshire is likely to be pausing its hot and cold formed tube lines for some hours during the coldest spells this winter.
- Increasing energy self-sufficiency at Port Talbot Press release (October 2021): New 30MW turbo-alternator
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Caption: Manufacturing units such as the Hot Rolling Mill at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot works will be paused for hours at a time during periods of peak winter energy demand
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.