Tata Steel Europe upgrades hot strip mill at the Port Talbot works, South Wales

Strip cooling system

A transfer bar cooling system has been installed at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot hot strip mill

Tata Steel has invested more than £14 million in the modernization of its hot strip mill at Port Talbot, Wales (UK), allowing it to manufacture more higher-value steels for customers.  The Port Talbot hot strip mill underwent 18 days of maintenance in December 2017 as part of Tata Steel’s strategic investment in “Delivering our Future”. A transfer bar cooling system has been installed which will increase the annual capacity of the site by around 5% and ensure steel can be quickly brought to the exact temperature required for the final product before it is rolled at the finishing mill stands. Now, Tata Steel has installed the transfer bar cooling system to increase the volume capacity of the Hot Strip Mill by more than 150,000 t per year.

Explaining why the transfer bar cooling system was needed, Mark Davies, Works Manager Hot Rolled Products, said: “The system is designed to cool steel to very specific temperatures, depending on what it is to be used for, rather than waiting for it to cool naturally. This fine temperature control also allows us to more tightly control the mechanical properties and surface quality of steel used in specific and demanding applications.”

Port Talbot produces high-quality steel which is processed at Tata Steel’s steel mills around the UK for manufacturers in Britain, mainland Europe and other countries around the world.

Jon Ferriman, Tata Steel’s Director of Strip Products UK, said: “This investment has created a stronger, more efficient and more reliable platform from which we can meet the needs of our customers. We took the opportunity of a planned maintenance shutdown to upgrade several plant areas to further improve production of high-value steels and their delivery to customers.”

Additional investment to modernize also the steelmaking plant at the Port Talbot site

The capability upgrade of the hot strip mill is part of a series of investments to Tata Steel’s European operations designed to strengthen operations and long-term capability and allow the development and production of high-performing steels demanded by customers. This will help meet the emerging need for next-generation steels for hybrid and electric cars, as well as for energy-efficient homes and buildings and innovative food packaging.
In November 2017, Tata Steel announced around £30 million of investments, including the replacement of a Basic Oxygen Steelmaking vessel – weighing 500 tonnes – at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site. At the same time the company is replacing the massive cranes in the steelplant as well as installing enhanced dust extraction hoods and energy-efficient drives to minimise emissions.

About Tata Steel’s European operations

Tata Steel is one of Europe’s leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering. Tata Steel works with customers to develop new steel products that give them a competitive edge. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the top global steel companies, with an annual steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes and almost 74,000 employees across five continents. The group’s revenue in the year ending March 2017 was US$18.1 billion.

© Picture: Tata Steel