23 November 2010
Corporate News

Tata Steel opens processing centre to serve wind tower fabricators

Tata Steel is investing £1.3 million in a new processing and distribution centre in Scunthorpe to take advantage of anticipated growth in the wind power sector and help realise the UK’s ambitious renewable energy programme over the next decade.

The new hub will handle up to 200,000 tonnes per year (tpa) of steel plate manufactured at the company’s adjacent Scunthorpe Plate Mill, as well as at the Dalzell Plate Mill in Motherwell.  Three profiling machines with a total capacity of 40,000 tpa have been installed on site to process plate for delivery to fabricators, who will use it to build tubular wind tower structures.

A total of 38 people will be employed at the new facility, half of them the beneficiaries of newly created permanent positions.
Phil Knowles, Tata Steel Plate Sales Manager, said: 'This new hub allows us to supply plate to wind turbine and tower manufacturers at exactly the right time in their production process.  It also allows us to carry out further processing of our plate, enabling us to add extra value to the product.

“The profiling machines will cut the plates into shapes suitable for fabricating into conical towers.  They can at the same time cut special edges onto the plate so that our customers can weld the edges together after the steel has been fabricated into a tubular structure and join these sections together to produce towers.

“Although this is a relatively new industry compared to some of our other market sectors, we’ve supplied steel for wind towers for seven years and we’ve worked hard to develop strong relationships with our customers.”

Wind towers typically contain between 150 and 250 tonnes of steel.  Most of the material Tata Steel will supply for wind towers will be delivered to customers in the UK and mainland Europe, but the completed wind towers may be shipped around the world.

For further information contact Bob Jones, Group Head Media Relations: Tel. 0207 717 4532, bob.jones@tatasteel.com

About Tata Steel Europe

Tata Steel Europe (formerly Corus) is Europe's second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations in the UK and the Netherlands, the company supplies steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, material handling and other demanding markets worldwide.

It is a subsidiary of Tata Steel, one of the world’s top ten steel producers. The combined group has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.