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Whyalla blast furnace up and running after repair

Manufacturing News

The Whyalla steelworks is back producing steel following successful repairs to the blast furnace, GFG Alliance Chairman Sanjeev Gupta has just announced.

Gupta made the announcement while visiting the steelworks to inspect repairs (pictured) after an uncontrolled iron breakout which damaged the furnaces outer shell.

Whyalla is Australia’s only source of steel rails and structural steel and had been closed since March.

Gupta was given a detailed briefing by lead iron and steel making engineers and project managers overseeing the restart operations.

The briefing included an overview of the cause of the damage to the blast furnace, current progress and projected timeline for normalisation of operations of the blast furnace and steel plant.

“I want to reassure our people and the Whyalla community that we are committed to getting our plant back to normal production as soon as possible.

“The repair of the blast furnace shell has been a slow and precise exercise. It could not be rushed, our people’s safety always comes first.”

Gupta said he saw concrete progress at the plant.

“The furnace’s shell repair is completed and hot metal is flowing from the emergency tap hole.

“This is an important milestone, and I have every confidence our expert team will soon bring our high-quality steel making back to normal production.”

While in Whyalla, Gupta also met with Mayor Phill Stone, and other key community stakeholders.

Gupta said: “I remain committed to the future of Whyalla and achieving our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 through our green steel transformation.

“Recently, we decided to align timelines for the delivery of our Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) with a Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plant.

“Project timelines have been matched with the expected availability of natural gas and hydrogen required for the production of DRI using our high-grade magnetite, well within our CN30 ambition.”

Further reading:
Whyalla steelworks idle following shutdown damage

Picture: Sanjeev Gupta announcing the restart of the Whyalla blast furnace

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