1602 BlueScope Port Kembla
BlueScope Port Kembla
The images here were captured from the BOS and Slab Casting plants, which make up part of the steel making process within the BlueScope Steelworks in Port Kembla.
BlueScope (and BHP before it) has been an integral part of the Illawarra since 1931. Port Kembla and the surrounding suburbs such as Cringilla and Lake Heights, grew over the years to support the steelworks.
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The steelworks is a primary employer for the region and one of only three remaining steel production facilities in Australia. It is also the largest steelworks in Australia with an annual output of 2.6 million tonnes of steel.
BlueScope Port Kembla is industrial as heavy as most people will ever see.
The Steelworks, like most modern steel makers, uses the BOS (Basic Oxygen Steelmaking) process to convert pig iron into steel.
Ore is fed into a blast furnace which heats it to a molten state consisting of iron and slag.This is then transported using torpedo ladle cars to the BOS plant.
The steel is refined by mixing it with scrap and blasting pure oxygen at high pressure into the BOS vessel. This increases the heat to around 2000ºC and assists in removing carbon and other impurities from the iron.
Once this process is complete the BOS vessel is tapped to collect the steel and remove the slag for further processing/recycling.
The molten steel then makes it’s way to slab casting where the steel is extruded into 230mm thick slabs which are then transported to the cold and hot rolling strip mills for shaping into its final products, some of which will be reduced in thickness to 1.5mm.
BlueScope has been part of life for thousands of people and an important industry which has seen it produce the majority of steel used in Australia for over half a century.
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