SAIL forced to shut down blast furnace at Bhilai Steel plant
Steel Authority of India was forced to shut down a blast furnace at its Bhilai Steel plant after a crack developed in the bottom part (hearth) of the shell of the furnace (Blast Furnace No. 1) resulting in leakage of hot metal.
The situation was brought under control following prompt action, an official statement said. Following the incident, BF No.1 has been taken down for repairs, it added.
The BF No. 1 was part of the phasing out of older units under SAIL’s long term strategic planning, which involves installation of modern facilities, an official statement said.
The accident comes close on heels of the commissioning of Mahamaya –the plant’s Blast Furnace (BF) No. 8 on February 3, which has a capacity of producing 8030 tonnes of hot metal per day or and 2.8 million tonne per annum.
With the new furnace on-stream, SAIL BSP’s hot metal capacity is slated to go up to 7.5 million tonne per annum from the present level of around 5 million tonne. The furnace has already achieved 3000 tonnes production in a single day on February 13 and hot metal production will be maintained with BF 8, wherein production is scaling up consistently, SAIL said in a statement.
Earlier, operations at the Bhilai Steel Plant had suffered due a major accident on June 2014, when all but one of its seven furnaces had to undergo a shutdown as a precautionary measure. The accident claimed six lives, including two deputy general managers, and a contract worker.