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News

Blast furnace equipped with epoxy-coated steel pipe for closed-circuit cooling water system

Pipe Center : 29 October, 2013  (Application Story)
A new state-of-the-art blast furnace at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks has been equipped with some three miles of cooling pipework, installed by Fairwood Fabrications and supplied by Pipe Center. The £9m installation was part of a complete rebuild of No.4 Blast Furnace at the South Wales plant, completed at a cost of £185m, which has created one of the most advanced, efficient and environmentally friendly iron-making facilities in the world.
The pipework forms an essential part of the furnace’s vital temperature-management system, delivering cooling water to the furnace-shell’s cupro-nickel heat exchanging plates.
 
The new No.4 Blast Furnace has specially designed closed-circuit cooling water systems that are significant improvements from the previous blast furnace in terms of safety and reliability. The large volumes of water required are supplied via two 42in carbon-steel mains, with two pump-houses, each with operational and standby pumps.
 
Major sections of the pipework, including heat exchangers and valves, were prefabricated offsite at Fairwood Fabrications’ facility at Port Talbot.
 
The project included 18 giant 36in high pressure gate valves, sourced by Pipe Center from a leading international supplier. Fairwood Fabrications attended witness tests carried out on the valves by the manufacturer to 12Bar.
 
The project required 150 cast iron gate valves in total, from 2in to 36in, plus an assortment of standard non-return and butterfly valves. “All pipework had to be shot-blasted and treated with four layers of epoxy prior to fabrication,” says Wayne Adams, contract manager at Fairwood Fabrications. Therefore it had to be supplied in a carefully staged sequence to our contractors, so they could carry out the preparation work before supplying to us.” He added: “Pipe Center did an excellent job in managing the whole supply process, and we worked very closely with them at every stage of the project.”
 
Fittings, including flange connections for the pump house, were also supplied by Pipe Center. Appropriately, steel for the pipe was made at Tata Steels’ plant at Hartlepool.
 
A vital part of the successful programme completion was the coordinated communication between the Tata Steel Project Team, Fairwood Fabrications contract team and Pipe Center’s project department.
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