Manufacturing News

BlueScope’s $300 million plate mill investment

Manufacturing News

The NSW Government has given planning approval for a $300 million refurbishment of BlueScope’s 60-year-old plate mill at Port Kembla.

The development is a massive endorsement of locally made steel operations in NSW according to the government, with an estimated $650 million injection of stimulus to the economy.

The upgrade will improve production capability and capacity at the Port Kembla site, where steel slabs are rolled down the line at 1300 degrees Celsius, to cater to an increased demand in the construction, renewable energy and the defence sector.

The multimillion-dollar project will involve replacing two of the existing furnaces with a newer and more energy efficient alternative, upgrading infrastructure and modernising processing plant equipment.

BlueScope Chief Executive Australian Steel Products Tania Archibald said: “The modernisation of the plate mill is an important step in bolstering Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability, supporting critical industries like renewable energy, defence and major infrastructure.

“This project is a testament to BlueScope’s vision to be a vibrant, modern and sustainable manufacturer in Australia.”

Since commissioning in 1963 the plate mill has produced more than 20 million tonnes of plate.

The investment will increase production capacity from an existing 430,000 tonnes per year to 600,000 tonnes, and employ an additional 95 people.

Archibald said: “This is more than an upgrade – it is a strategic investment in modern manufacturing.”

The project includes measures to reduce environmental impacts from its operations such as a large reduction in fuel consumption.

The state government has also established a ‘whole of government’ Working Group to coordinate government decision making in BlueScope’s redevelopment of surplus industrial land adjacent to the steelworks.

the company is developing 200 Hectares (Ha) of non-steelmaking, excess landholdings with the potential to create 30,000 jobs in emerging and green industries.

Works on the new plate mill are expected to commence in July 2024 and will take three years to complete.

Further reading:
BlueScope unveils vision for Port Kembla Steelworks land

Picture: BlueScope

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