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Tata Steel Centenary Celebrations

Steel Evolution Story

First Blast Furnace in India
First blast furnace blown-in 1911

 

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» Period between 1960-80
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Expansion to Two Million Tonnes

The Steel target of six million tonnes of ingot Steel per annum in India set for the second five year plan included expansion of the existing Steel plants. Tata Steel was permitted to go in for an expansion to two million tonnes of ingot Steel per annum. Tata Steel’s expansion programme, the largest project in the private sector, was started in 1955 and completed by December 1958.

The rated daily capacity of the five blast furnaces in existence prior to TMP was 4200 tonnes. Blast furnace F, with a rated capacity of 1650 tonnes per day, provided sufficient hot metal for the two million tonne programme.

By providing sintered ore, blast furnace production increased by 10% to an annual output of 1,870,000 tonnes. Blast furnace F was completed and put in operation on October 10, 1958. One of the largest and most modern furnaces in the world, it was designed for high top-pressure operation and the use of sinter in the burden. The blowing-in ceremony of blast furnace F was regarded as the official christening of TMP.

A huge Steel Melting shop no. 3 (closed down in 1999) comprising two 800 tonne hot metal mixers, three 32 tonne Bessemer converters and seven 200 tonne open-hearth furnaces (with the possibility of adding an eighth furnace) was the corner stone of steelmaking under TMP.

A new rolling mill complex was constructed consisting of soaking pits, Blooming Mill no.2 and a sheet Bar and Billet mill (this was closed in early 1999). Between the two mills, the primary capacity was nearly three million tones of ingots per annum. The continuous sheet bar and billet mill no.2 was the main mill for semi-finished products for feeding the sheet mills, tin bars for the tinplate company and gothics for the manufacture of seamless tubes.

The Medium and Light Structural mill, which was also installed along with the other mills, was capable of rolling diversified products in wide ranges and was designed to roll 350,000 tonnes of blooms per annum. The products manufactured were to be mainly beams, channels, angles, junior beams and parallel flange beams-the last two for the first time in country. The revamping of the rail and structural mill (closed down in 1989), sheet bar and billet mill no.1 (closed down in 1998) and the merchant mill were also undertaken. A new merchant mill no.2 was commissioned in 1962. The additional service facilities included water supply arrangement, power supply and distribution to meet the total maximum demand of 125,000 kW and railway track facilities. The two million tonne programme was completed on schedule and involved no major delay.

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