Health, Safety, Environment and Community Report 2004

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Air Quality

BlueScope Steel is committed to reducing air emissions and improving air quality in the communities in which we operate.

While air emissions are not a significant issue at many of the Company's sites around the world, we recognise that our two integrated steelworks, located at Port Kembla in Australia and at Glenbrook in New Zealand, have an impact on air quality.

Due to the nature of the steelmaking process and the sheer size of the operations at these sites, air pollutants such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, greenhouse gases, dust and odours have the potential to impact on our communities.

Levels of these emissions are influenced by production levels and may vary due to changing measurement protocols and estimation techniques.

Air emissions from our sites have been reduced through the extensive installation of pollution control equipment, operational changes, improved practices and procedures, sealing of roads, and the installation of truck washers and stockpile sprays.

Two significant projects to reduce air emissions from the Port Kembla Steelworks in recent years were the Coke Side Emission Control Project and the Sinter Plant Emission Reduction Plant (see Case Study). These two projects represent a $187 million  investment in air quality improvement for the Illawarra community.

Recent projects to reduce kish (iron oxide dust) emissions from the Port Kembla Steelworks include refurbishment of the hot metal pouring fume collection system, the inclusion of a 'no dumping of hot metal' clause in our Enterprise Agreement, and work to reduce emissions from the BOS slag pits. The Steelworks has also introduced a Dust Emission Ranking system for managing fugitive dust emissions from the plant.

Particulate emission reduction projects currently underway include an extensive planting program at the Port Kembla Recycling Area to minimise dust emissions by covering bare areas and providing windbreaks and a trial to seal the inside of the Coke Ovens after oven maintenance to prevent soot emissions from the waste gas stacks.

Sulphur oxides (SOx) are produced when coal is burned. Projects are underway to reduce SOx emissions through the installation of a Sulphur Rich Gas Treatment Plant (see Case Study) and the conversion of the Steelworks' 25 boiler from coal to waste gas.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are produced as a by-product of combustion. Low NOx burners will be installed on the additional reheat furnace being constructed as part of the Hot Strip Mill Project, reducing the NOx emissions from this new furnace.

Teams of employees at Port Kembla also continue to work on projects to reduce emissions of benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the Gas Processing and Coke Ovens areas of the plant.

Non-Compliances - Air Emissions Click To View Larger Image

Air Emissions

Air Emissions (Tonnes) - Fine Particulates Click To View Larger Image

Air Emissions (Tonnes)
Fine Particulates

Air Emissions (Tonnes) - Nitrogen Oxides Click To View Larger Image

Air Emissions (Tonnes)
Nitrogen Oxides

Air Emissions (Tonnes) - Sulphur Oxides Click To View Larger Image

Air Emissions (Tonnes)
Sulphur Oxides