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PSM’s blast furnace No 2 made operational after major repair

The Pakistan Steel Mill’s blast furnace No 2 which stopped functioning in last August 2013 after a serious metal breakout from its shell/notch area, has now been revived for production after a critical major repair by using in-house expertise and resources. It is a remarkable achievement of Pakistan steel engineers and workforce who worked day and night to reclaim the old and faulty furnace through their dedication, skill and commitment.

Factually, all metal and slag of this furnace completely solidified after the accident and was comprehensively packed inside the shell and it was a general opinion that to remove the burden inside the furnace is almost impossible without demolishing the refractory bricks in totality and complete relining of the furnace shell with high quality refractory bricks. In short, the furnace needs to be reconstructed. As per initial estimates this exercise needed eight to nine million US dollars, and the minimum period to complete the job was 10-12 months. And further it was said that since locally such expertise and material was not available, therefore, some foreign engineering firm having vast experience of such job was needed to be engaged as has been done previously in 1996 and 2001(for second category repair of blast furnaces which included complete relining as well) .

The present management is committed with the government to boost the productivity of the mill to a level of 77 percent in the first quarter of 2015, so that the corporation can be able to bear, at its own, all operational expenses and salaries of its 16,000 employees.

It was a great challenge for the management to put the blast furnace No 2 back to production in minimum time span so that the promised milestone could be achieved realising that without the operation of blast furnace No 2, there was no possibility of meeting the given targets.

The dilemma was that Pakistan Steel could neither afford the huge expenditure involved in demolishing the furnace and re-constructing it afresh nor could the organization wait for 10-12 months to achieve their goal. It was, therefore, decided to rely on its own technical and material resources and repair the furnace on a ‘self-reliance’ basis in the minimum possible time frame.

Pakistan Steel’s Management chose to repose full confidence in its expert Engineers and Technicians. All available resources were utilized and without involving heavy financial expenditure, the furnace was cleaned up from inside alongwith repair/replacement of damaged bricks in a very short period of 3 months and the furnace made operational. It is expected that soon the furnace will start pouring out liquid iron in required quantity to enable the steel mills to achieve its production target of 70 to 80 percent of capacity. The CEO of Pakistan Steel, Major General (Retd.) Zaheer Ahmad Khan, H.I(M), kept himself personally involved and worked shoulder to shoulder with the Engineers and Technicians by providing support  and guidance, so that the task should be  accomplished in the minimum possible time. Undoubtedly the Engineers and Technicians of Pakistan Steel have done a miracle and set a new record of performance and deserve applause and felicitations.


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