• Thursday, October 06, 2022

Business

Tata Steel spends £4m to upgrade Cumbria lime kiln

Tata Steel’s refurbished lime kiln at its Shapfell site in Cumbria, UK. (Photo: Tata Steel)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

TATA STEEL’S UK arm expects its investment of £4 million to refurbish a kiln at its Shapfell site in Cumbria will allow a sustainable supply of lime to the Port Talbot steelworks.

It manufactures lime – a critical component used to remove impurities during steelmaking – at the Cumbrian facility.

The relining of Shapfell’s kiln-4 took 10 months to complete and allowed the company to start producing lime again after being mothballed since 2016, the company said on Friday (14).

Over the next 12 years, the refurbished kiln is expected to produce nearly 1.5 million tons of calcium-rich lime products.

Tata Steel said, “the kiln is lit using new technology in conjunction with a company called Secatherm. A hot gas blower system – instead of traditional wood – which is used to give increased control while at the same time providing both reduced and cleaner emissions has been installed”.

The new technology, including airflow monitoring, will help control the combustion and save on energy and costs, the Mumbai-based steel major said.

According to the company’s Shapfell operations manager John Baird, the investment has led to a “crucial upgrade” for the site.

“This particular kiln had been mothballed for several years, but we had an opportunity to bring it back on stream to cover production as another kiln comes to the end of its normal lifespan, while also using new technology which means we’re being more sustainable and cost-effective”.

Tata Steel’s UK arm has the ambition to produce net-zero steel by 2050.

It said a vast majority of the emission reduction work will need to happen in South Wales where the company’s largest operational site is located.

The company is drawing up plans for a transition to low carbon emission technologies and exploring where its new green steelmaking assets could be located on its Port Talbot site.

It had installed a 30-megawatt generator at the site recently to reduce its energy bills and cut carbon footprints.

Tata Steel is a partner in the South Wales Industrial Cluster.

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