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The relining of the ArcelorMittal South Africa(AMSA) Newcastle Works blast furnace is now drawing to a close.
The massive project officially began in May 2022, with the Newcastillian – Online News reporting on how the relining of the blast furnace formed part of AMSA’s commitment to investing in its infrastructure.
To read the full article, click here.
During a media briefing pertaining to the steel giant’s financial outlook on Thursday, 28 July 2022, AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kobus Verster explained that the three-month Newcastle blast furnace restoration project has now reached completion at the end of July 2022, with more than 40 000 hours worked without a single lost-time injury.
According to Verster, the major benefits of the project include:
- Extended plant life.
- Improved reliability and cost competitiveness.
- Reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Additionally, AMSA’s CEO highlighted that the project took a total of two years of planning, and three months to execute.
Also, 28 contractor companies from across South Africa participated in the work, with 1 030 temporary employment opportunities created. Out of 1 030 employees working on the project, 60 workers hailed from the KZN region.
A staggering 50 tonnes of steel was also consumed over the past three months.
The work completed includes:
- 220 cooling staves.
- Carbon blocks changed (5 382 blocks).
- Tuyere belt and bosh refractories (14 047 refractory bricks).
- 110m² of furnace shell plate replaced.
- Cast house metal trough design changed to incorporate forced air cooling.
- Tuyere belt and cast house structures strengthened.
- Hot blast stoves repaired.
- Improved instrumentation and monitoring systems.
Additionally, during the media briefing, Verster pointed out that ArcelorMittal South Africa’s average capacity utilisation decreased from 59% in the first half of 2021 to 42% in 2022 and will be at 76% after the Newcastle blast furnace restoration project is officially complete and running.
ArcelorMittal is looking at starting the blast furnace by the end of the month.
With this said, Verster stated that the company was pleased with the quality of the work and is now looking forward to starting the blast furnace up. He further noted, “The blast furnace has a capacity of 1.8 million tonnes, however, the target production is usually 1 million tonnes.”
As the project now comes to an end, what are your thoughts on the above-mentioned?
Share your views in the comment section below.