A crucial new high-tech addition to Port Talbot’s Energy department is reducing reliance on costly natural gas, lowering emissions, and saving the company millions of pounds each year.
With climate change so critical, and energy costs sky-high, the boost could not have come at a better time.
The Port Talbot site currently generates over 70% of its own energy requirements by utilising process gases to both replace natural gas and to generate electricity through its onsite power plant, which was recently upgraded with a new £37million turbo alternator.
Until now, on-site gases used in the power plant have been constantly supplemented with imported natural gas to even out any variations in calorific value.
Now, a new ‘Gas-enrichment station’ costing nearly £400,000 smartly tops up the site’s native gases only when it is required, so minimising the consumption of imported gas.
Tata Steel’s Project Process Engineer Imran Shabbir said:
“Our on-site boilers use site gases such as Blast Furnace gas to generate steam.
“The energy content – or calorific value – of that gas occasionally drops, so we have been using large volumes of natural gas as a secondary fuel to combat this.”
“Now however, since natural gas is only injected when the calorific value of the Blast Furnace gas is low – as opposed to the continuous firing we had previously – we are able to reduce natural gas consumption in our service boilers by around 80%, which equates to around 3300 GigaJoules a week,”
“There is also a significant environmental benefit, as the project will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent to flying an airplane around the world 888 times*.”
“We’re not resting on our laurels, though. Given the ongoing trend of rising energy costs and the potential savings on the table, we will continue to focus on the company-wide reduction of natural gas