Development of an electric arc furnace at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site could give the UK an opportunity to take a lead in scrap metal recycling and steel production, according to a top UK metals academic.
The Port Talbot site which produces primary steel from iron ore, coke and limestone, was put up for sale by its owner, but could also face closure, putting hundreds of jobs in jeopardy.
Julian Allwood, Professor of Engineering and Environment at the University of Cambridge has claimed that switching the site to an electric arc furnace could safeguard the future of the plant.
Professor Allwood said: “We have enough pig iron capacity now and forever. While world demand is paused now, it will grow again but there is enough material in the recycling side to meet this future demand.”
He added: “The electric arc furnace is better placed for future steel production and there is an opportunity for UK leadership in this area. In the past steel scrap has generally been used to make reinforcing bar. No country or company has yet grasped the bullet in taking the lead on high quality steel recycling.”