Saving Energy and Environmental Friendliness Key Parts of Dongkuk Steel’s Management Plans
The electric furnace steelmaker already installed energy saving and environment friendly equipment at its steel plants
Chairman Chang Se-joo of Dongkuk Steel.
Dongkuk Steel has been investing in various environmentally friendly steel production facilities lately, focusing on energy saving as its topmost policy objective as the country’s top maker of H-beams and steel plates produced with electrically heated blast furnaces. The steelmaker has to save energy for its own survival.
The steelmaker has been working on energy saving by importing energy-saving steelmaking equipment to control its use of electricity in the long run and to make its steel production environmentally friendly under its environmentally friendly integrated management.
Since 2009, Dongkuk Steel has been operating the Environmentally Friendly Eco Arc electric furnaces. The steelmaker invested a total of 470 billion won over the past several years to replace its old electric furnaces and steel pressure equipment with environmentally friendly ones at its Incheon Steel plant. The Environmentally Friendly Eco Arc electric furnace keeps its heat level stable with a steady supply of scrap iron, thus saving around 30 percent of power compared to the general electric furnaces. Another advantage of using the environmentally friendly Eco Arc electric furnace is that it drastically reduces the output of harmful materials.
The company installed dirt collecting facilities to prevent the generation of dirt in the air and to prevent the generation of dioxins, which are harmful to humans, by keeping the temperature inside the electric furnaces at the same level all the time when they are in operation. The steelmaker’s Incheon plants have become a role model for other steelmakers seeking profit and environmental friendliness at the same time.
The No.1 rolling installations at the Incheon steel plant of Dongkuk Steel built in 2011 require less energy. To produce steel rods, billets should be heated and put into the rolling processes, and Dongkuk Steel was the first steelmaker to introduce the ‘hot direct rolling,’ placing the heated billets into the rolling processes before they are cooled, with no need to reheat the billets, thus saving energy.
The steelmaker’s Dangjin Steel Complex was built with energy saving and e nvironment friendliness in mind from the designing stages. Since it went online in 2010, the steel plates turned out at the complex are used in building eco ships, as they are solid and light.
Dongkuk Steel has been at the forefront of reducing the generation of CO2 in its steel making processes. From 2008, the steelmaker replaced bunker-C with LNG at its jobsites to reduce the generation of CO2 enough to be line with the international standards for emissions of CO2, producing only 170,000 tons of CO2 from its steel plants operating around the country.
Dongkuk Steel received the ISO 14001 certification from the British Standards Institute in 2003 and worked on building an environment management system at its steel plants. The company itself adopted the rules on environment management to follow the various environmental indexes, which are made so that all officers and workers can jointly learn about the news and environment management materials as soon as they are available.
The steelmaker is also working on its plan to save energy to prevent blackouts all over the country due to a shortage of electricity. The company has decided to use less power for its electric furnaces during summer and move up the downtime for its blast furnaces to July and August, suspending the operation of the furnaces, which will be managed by the task force that is overseeing its programs to save energy at the steel plants.
Photos on courtesy of Dongkuk Steel