LONDON: A new 30-MW generator installed at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site in South Wales will cut its energy bill by millions of pounds every year at a time when energy prices are rising, the Indian steel major announced on Monday.
The generator has been installed in a new turbine hall as part of a wider £37 million investment on the site’s power station.
Tata Steel said the giant generators also include environmental benefits as more process gases from blast furnaces, steelmaking plants and coke ovens can be converted into “useful energy” – reducing emissions from outdoor power generation by more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon- Dioxide (CO2) one year.
Guy Sims, Project Manager, Tata Steel, said, “Our on-site power plant uses process gases to heat water into steam, which then drives a turbine – like a propeller. This, in turn, is our own drives an electric rotor to generate electricity.” .
“We have many of these ‘turbo-alternators,’ but not enough to use the steam we can make. This latest addition, energy, will, however, be a step-change in our energy-generating capacity. We Have commissioned the plant and made it run up to a capacity of 30 MW.”
Sims explained that without generators, the company would not only be forced to incinerate or burn excess process gases, but would also need to purchase more electricity from the national grid. And, the UK still uses a substantial amount of fossil fuels for its electricity generation.
Sims said: “This investment therefore effectively reduces our offsite carbon footprint by 30MW of electricity generation which equates to approximately 120 tonnes of CO2 a day, or 43,800 tonnes of CO2 a year. This is applicable to all employees and contractor partners. And while there have been some setbacks along the way – not least with the pandemic – when you consider that the return from such a huge project can be in less than a year, all that hard work will be worth it.”
The project also includes creating a new landscaped area that has been planted with kidney vetch – the main food source of the UK’s smallest resident butterfly, the Small Blue. Tata Steel is one of Europe’s leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the Netherlands and the UK 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.