The two Port Talbot furnaces, which currently produce around 3.6 million tonnes of liquid iron each year, are powered by high-pressure ‘hot blast’ air that is superheated to temperatures of more than 1,100°C.
Recycled on-site process gases are used to heat the air in seven refractory-brick-lined ‘stoves’ before it is injected into the furnaces.
The improvement project in three of the seven stoves will upgrade the burners that generate heat,
Project Manager Andrew McGregor, who is in charge of the improvement programme, said: “Stoves are absolutely critical to the running of our blast furnaces.
“Any loss of efficiency in heating the air means we either have to use more gas than is optimum, or we have to replace that lost energy by using more metallurgical coke to chemically reduce the iron ore inside the furnaces.”