G-STEEL Public Company Limited was founded by Dr. Somsak Leeswadtrkul, and is considered a leader and a pioneer of the Thai and Southeast Asian steel industry with more than 40 years of experience in hot rolled coils manufacturing. The plant is located in Rayong, which is about 175 kilometers from Bangkok, Thailand. The grand opening of G -Steel was on 30 March 2000 with the support from the SSP Group and large end-users of hot rolled coils.
The total investment to establish the company was US$1 billion. The plant obtained promotional privilege from Thailand’ Board of Investment in 1996. s G-STEEL‘ plant is equipped with advanced and integrated technology at its liquid steel makin g, s slab casting and hot rolling processes. This multi-phased steel plant operates at full production capacity of approximately 1. 8 million tons of hot rolled coils (HRC) per year, meeting product quality specifications of domestic and international markets.
PROCESS DESCRIPTION G-STEEL
The plant’ “ s s Compact” or “ Mini mill”layout comprises of three basic integrated production processes: § Steel Making: The first step is to melt a variety of metal scrap and other bearing materials, such as pig iron, with additives to produce clean steel. This process is carried out in two Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF) supplied by Mannesman Demag Huttentechnik, Germany and equipped with oxygen fuel burners, carbon injection system, and other equipments. The steel is further chemically refined to meet customer requirements in two Ladle Heating Furnaces (LHF).
Continuous Casting: In the second step, the clean, refined and graded steel in liquid form is fed into a medium thickness continuous slab caster. The slab casting technology was supplied by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Japan, and is in terms of quality and production cost superior to thin slab casters. The caster has the state-of-the-art features: liquid core reduction, start-stop sequence, mould level control, and break out prediction module . This allows G-STEEL to simplify the operator tasks of this complex process.
Hot Rolling Mill: In he last step of the production process, the slab from caster is fed through a tunnel furnace, which maintains the slabs at required rolling temperature, to a continuous rolling mill. Mitsubishi, the world leader of heavy industries companies, supplied the mill. It consists of two roughing stands, mandrels, a coil box, and six finishing stands. The coil box installed between roughing and finishing mill optimizes the scrap requirement and improves the transfer temperature thereby reducing the power requirements. Other features include crown and shape control technologies, latest gauges and on roll grinding.
Environmental Control: G-STEEL recognizes that industrial development will adversely affect the environment and therefore aims to use environmentally friendly technologies that use ele ctricity and natural gas. G-STEEL also installed a bag filter to collect dust from the process and a wastewater treatment plant equipped with a Zero Discharge System to recycle the plant’ wastewater in the production process. The Office of Environmental Planning and s Policy approved the plants Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 1996, but G-STEEL aims to continuously improve its environmental performance to national and international standards.
The draft Company Energy Efficiency Methodology was used as a basis for the plant assessment to identify and implement options to reduce energy and other materials and wastes. Some of the interesting experiences are: § Task 1d –Select focus areas The assessment at this plant was carried out by the plant’ Team, the Thai facilitating s organization TISTR, and an international consultant. Screened options for feasibility analysis were presented at a meeting with top management.
Top management’ feedback was that their s priority area is the electric arc furnace because it is a major energy consumer, which was not selected as a focus area. Instead, focus areas including steam, compressed air and cooling towers had been selected partly because these were the consultant’ areas of expertise rather than s furnaces.
The company is also relatively close to residential areas. As a result, environmental permit requirements are quite strict. Because of this ompliance with permit conditions and relationships with residents and local authorities were important criteria considered for the evaluation of options and ranking options for implementation. Lesson learnt: External factors such as legislative requirements, relationships with government authorities and public image can be important criteria for selecting options for implementation.
A meeting with the CEO of the company was organized s to explain the need to obtain results to be able to write case studies for implemented options. With the CEO’ support, the plant’ Team had the permission to spend time to monitor and s s report results. Lesson learnt: Top management support is important throughout the assessment, not only at the start.