Whyalla takes last coal shipment in move towards green steel

Friday, 22 September, 2023

Whyalla takes last coal shipment in move towards green steel

GFG Alliance has announced that the LIBERTY Primary Steel steelworks (LPS) in Whyalla has unloaded its last-ever consignment of coal as it moves forward on a path to the closure of its coke ovens in anticipation of green steel production.

More than 47,000 tonnes of coal were unloaded by the MV Orion at the Whyalla Port bulk berth on 28 July, signalling the end of more than 50 years of coal deliveries to Whyalla.

The company will be replacing its coke ovens with electric arc furnaces.

“I think there is some nostalgia but also an overall sense of optimism for the future as we move forward with new technology and a new green way of making steel,” said Head of Integrated Planning Hayley Perkins.

For long-term employees like Transport Projects Lead Noel Goldsworthy, the last shipment was both poignant and positive in the change from ‘old to the new’ at the steelworks.

“It is the most significant change from the traditional process of producing steel that I’ve seen in my 55 years at the steelworks,” he said. “It’s a change we have to make for the future of steelmaking; it’s a positive way forward for the sustainability of the steel business in Whyalla, which is a good thing for the community and environment.”

For Perkins, who has managed the delivery of more than a million tonnes of coal every year, the last shipment of coal has created a sense of opportunity and vision for a bright future.

“This last shipment is a real step forward towards GREENSTEEL and linked to one of the biggest changes in the decommissioning of the coke ovens,” she said.

The last shipment of coal, and scheduled closure of the coke ovens, follows an announcement in April by GFG Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta that a contract has been signed for the supply of a low carbon emissions electric arc furnace for the Whyalla Steelworks. LPS will import coke in the short term until the commissioning of the EAF.

Image caption: The last coal shipment being unloaded in Whyalla.

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