This afternoon I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of the steelworks at Port Kembla, operated by Bluescope Steel. Thanks to Jason Walker for organizing it!
The steelworks have been operating for over sixty years, and at its peak output was producing more than 5 million tonnes of steel per year. These days, the facility produces a much more modest amount, around 2.7 million tonnes annually.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to take photos while on the tour, but I found it to be an eyeopening experience. While I had a vague idea as to how steel is produced prior to the tour, it’s amazing to see several tonnes of molten steel be processed into plate and coil for use by fabricators. As we passed on walkways overhead as the steel is shaped into plate and coil, huge amounts of heat would emanate from below.
Makes me very conscious of just how much energy is required to produce steel, and how we have a responsibility to use it wisely in the design and fabrication of our buildings.