The production of steel needs a huge amount of energy. Now, Tata Steel is working with sustainable energy developer Pure Energie. The steel maker has announced that they intend to mount 80 000 solar panels on the factory roofs at its IJmuiden steelworks – an area equivalent to 40 football pitches. The solar project will have a 22 megawatt capacity and will generate the same amount of energy needed to power about 7000 homes.
Hans Fischer, Chief Technical Officer of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “This project will further minimize our carbon footprint. Since 1990 we have reduced the amount of energy needed to produce steel by more than 30% at our IJmuiden site, which is already one of the world’s most energy-efficient steel plants.”
Tata Power Solar is in discussions to supply the solar panels in what would be its biggest international project. Pure Energie has specialized in sustainable wind and solar energy projects for more than 20 years and will fund the development. The energy generated will be used in steel manufacturing processes. The two-year installation of the panels will start in the spring of 2016 and cover a total of 25 hectares.
Tata Steel’s engineers are also working to develop HIsarna, a new technology with the potential to make iron with lower energy use and CO2 emissions. A prolonged 6-month test campaign at the HIsarna pilot plant at the IJmuiden site is scheduled for the latter half of 2016.
Mr Fischer added: “Tata Steel engineers are continuously developing innovative processes to streamline production and we are developing advanced steel products for customers to help them create a more sustainable society.”