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09 May 2017

Blast Furnace renovation

One of British Steel’s Blast Furnace teams has successfully and safely completed a £1.2m project to replace corroded structures and the high line trestle bridge, while keeping operations running and sustaining no injuries.

An inspection by the company’s Asset Integrity team highlighted a number of structures and rail tracks that needed replacing at the north end plated area, BF4 junction house and the high line trestle bridge. These 3 projects were combined and undertaken together as all areas were in need of replacing for safety and environmental reasons.

The project took 8 months to complete and the team – led by Mick Johnson, British Steel Improvement Engineer – worked with principal contractors RJD Engineering and railway infrastructure contractor Volkerrail replaced the rail tracks using the company’s own steel where possible.

Danny Anderson, Area Manufacturing Manager, planned the production and looked at what tasks could be completed when. This kept the project on track, reducing unnecessary delays and costs. Danny said: “The biggest challenge of all was maintaining production throughout the project – we managed to do all the work while keeping the North End operating. It was a fantastic effort from everyone involved.”

Mick said: “The 3 projects were a huge undertaking. However, removal of the old trestle bridge was a quicker process than we thought, due to RJD setting up cranes in 2 areas to dismantle the old bridge and erect the new bridge sections – RJD had to be extremely careful on this, as it was positioned under the Blast Furnace gas main.

“As areas were uncovered, we found more parts to repair or replace – this was mainly the plated areas under BF4 junction house.

“I want to thank RJD site supervisors Paul Bates and Neil Schofield who executed the site work on all 3 projects and Mark Mullen, who planned the site work and crane lifts – they did a great job.

“Thanks also to Dave Duffield and Lance Parker of Engineering Supply Management who looked after the contractual side of the project, and Kev Dorsey and Kev Frear of Projects Technology Engineering Services for their technical assistance.”