April 07, 2005

Tata Steel's upgraded 'G' blast furnace resumes operation

Tata Steel’s one-million-tonne capacity expansion programme at its Jamshedpur Steel Works, achieved a major milestone with the ‘blowing in’ of the upgraded 'G' blast furnace in the last shift of April 6, 2005. It may be recalled that the 'G' blast furnace was shut down on December 3, 2004 for upgradation. Renowned blast furnace experts from Germany and Italy were present during the ‘blowing-in’operation, and will help Tata Steel reach the rated capacity of the furnace within the first thirty days of operation.

The ‘G’ blast furnace, which is running smoothly since blowing, is the largest blast furnace of Tata Steel. It had an initial capacity of one million tonne per annum and a planned campaign life of 10 years. The furnace was ‘blown out’ after producing a record 14 million tonnes of hot metal in its first campaign of 12 years. This is the highest ever production achieved by any blast furnace, in its first campaign, in India. The upgraded furnace is designed to have a capacity of 1.80 million tonnes per annum and a planned campaign life of 15 years. The upgradation has been done at a project cost of Rs580 crore, with the support of SMS-Demag, Germany, which has provided the engineering for this project. With this upgradation, the furnace is not only expected to produce better quality hot metal at a lower fuel rate, but will also help reduce cost of production. Besides, the hot metal capacity of the company will also go up to 5.2 million tonnes in 05-06, compared to a production of 4.35 million tonnes in FY04-05.

Apart from the upgradation of the ‘G’ blast furnace, the other projects included in the one-million-tonne expansion programme at the Jamshedpur Works are a new Sinter Plant # 3, now under commissioning trials, a new Rebar Mill scheduled to be completed in the next few months, and balancing facilities in steel making.

With the completion of this upgradation Tata Steel will now have a finished steel capacity of seven million tonnes per annum, including the two million tonnes capacity of NatSteel Asia, which it recently added with its first overseas investment. NatSteel gave Tata Steel a manufacturing footprint in seven countries in the South-East Asia region and China. The company has set a target of attaining 15 million tonnes per annum capacity through organic growth and investments in green-field and brown-field expansion projects. The Jamshedpur facility will produce 7.4 million tonnes and the balance capacity will be put up or acquired elsewhere in India and overseas.