Tata Steel has recently unveiled plans to create one of the world’s largest solar energy projects of its kind in the Netherlands.Working with Pure Energie, the sustainable energy developer, Tata Steel will mount 80,000 solar panels on the factory roofs at its IJmuiden steelworks – an area equivalent to 40 football pitches.The solar project will have a 22 megawatt capacity and will generate the same amount of energy needed to power about 7,000 homes.
Hans Fischer, Chief Technical Officer of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “This project will further minimise our carbon footprint. Since 1990 we have reduced the amount of energy needed to produce steel by more than 30% at our IJmuiden site, which is already one of the world’s most energy-efficient steel plants.”Tata Power Solar is in discussions to supply the solar panels in what would be its biggest international project. Pure Energie will fund the development. The energy generated will be used in steel manufacturing processes. The two-year installation of the panels will start in the spring of 2016 and cover a total of 25 hectares.
Pure Energie has specialised in sustainable wind and solar energy projects for more than 20 years and has been named the greenest energy company in the Netherlands. Alfons Wispels, a director at Pure Energie, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tata Steel to help them achieve their sustainability ambitions.”Mr Fischer added: “Tata Steel engineers are continuously developing innovative processes to streamline production and we are developing advanced steel products for customers to help them create a more sustainable society.”
Tata Steel’s products include advanced automotive steel grades which help make cars safer, but also lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient. The company’s engineers are also working to develop HIsarna, a breakthrough new technology which has the potential to make iron with lower energy use and CO2 emissions. A prolonged 6-month test campaign at the HIsarna pilot plant at Tata Steel’s IJmuiden site is scheduled for the latter half of 2016.