.........Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) continues to face unprecedented production loss following a major breakdown of Blast Furnace (BF)-V. The new BF-V ‘Durga’ with sophisticated technology is the country’s second largest BF and mainstay of RSP’s hot metal production. On an average, it produces about 8,000 tonnes hot metal per day.
As a cascading effect, New Plate Mill, Hot Strip Mill and Special Plate Plant have fully stopped while Steel Melting Shop-I, Old Plate Mill and Pipe Plant are running at 10-15 per cent capacity with BF-IV being able to supply about 2,000 tonnes hot metal per day.
Sources said lancing and cleaning of nine Tuyeres have been completed, but 27 Tuyeres still remain jammed with materials. The production loss is projected to end up at around `300 crore.
RSP insiders pointed out that BF-V requires richer blend of coke produced in Coke Oven Battery-VI. In the absence of adequate availability of imported coking coal, the management, for the last one month, continued to insist on dilution of coke blend in the ratio of 75:25 of rich imported coal and domestic coal against the standard ratio of 90:10 leading to the breakdown.
They said gas fuel was not available and diesel fuel was running out, but the two turbo blowers were allowed to simultaneously inject high volume compressed hot air at high pressure to the BF-V. By 9 am on May 18, they stopped working and jammed all Tuyeres with materials.
An emergency meeting of the RSP Executives’ Association (RSPEA) on Wednesday condemned the suspension of the DGM over the issue and demanded his immediate reinstatement. RSPEA president Bimal Bisi demanded a high-level inquiry into the breakdown.
Meanwhile, the RSP, in a statement on Friday, said the revival of BF-V is likely in a week. It attributed the dilution of coal blend to disruption of rich imported coal from Australia. It said experts are on the job for quick revival and stabilisation of the furnace.
● The production loss is projected to end up at around D300 crore
● Lancing and cleaning of nine Tuyeres have been completed, but 27 Tuyeres still remain jammed with materials
● BF-V ‘Durga’ with sophisticated technology produces about 8,000 tonnes hot metal per day