Tata Steel has completed a major upgrade of the Hot Strip Mill at its Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales enabling it to further improve the quality of its steel products used in a wide range of markets, including automotive, engineering, construction and domestic appliances.
The upgrade was focused on the installation of a new £25 million ‘reversing rougher’ – a key part of the process which transforms a 9-inch (23cm) thick slab of steel into sheet less than an inch (2.5cm) thick. The reversing rougher is believed to be the most powerful in Europe, with two new 12.5 MW motors, each equivalent to 17,000hp or the power of about 150 cars.
The upgrade of the Hot Strip Mill follows investments totalling more than £250 million in state-of-the-art steelmaking and processing technology at the South Wales operations.
Hridayeshwar Jha, Tata Steel’s Strip Products UK Hub Director, said: “These investments have created a stronger, more efficient and more reliable platform from which we can meet the needs of our customers.
'We took the opportunity of this summer’s maintenance shutdown to upgrade a number of other plant areas in order to further improve production of high-value steels and their delivery to customers.'
The Hot Strip Mill is a vital plant area in the Port Talbot steelworks where steel is rolled into continuous strip, forming 'hot rolled coil'. The steel is further processed at Tata Steel sites in Wales and England, before being delivered to manufacturers of cars, food and drink cans, building materials and kitchen appliances.
The picture shows the installation of one of the 200-tonne, 12.5MW motors in the new reversing rougher at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks
About Tata Steel’s European operations
Tata Steel is Europe's second largest steel producer, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies products and services to the most demanding markets, including construction, automotive, packaging, rail, lifting & excavating, energy & power and aerospace. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with a steel capacity of 29 million tonnes and 80,000 employees across four continents.