Plant & Works Engineering
New treatment process tested
Published:  07 December, 2015

Siltbuster_pilot_plant_for_treating_the_main_effluent_flow_at_Tata_Steel_Colors.jpgSILTBUSTER PROCESS SOLUTIONS (SPS) reports it has designed, built and commissioned a full scale pilot plant for treating the main effluent flow at Tata Steel Colors, production site at Shotton. The aim of the pilot plant was to test a new treatment process for the site – one which would reduce treatment costs and meet the site’s longer term needs.

Tata Steel in Shotton produces pre-finished steel, primarily for the domestic appliance and construction industry, and generates some 45,000m3 per annum of metals laden effluent. However with the effluent plant built in 1976 and having been designed to cater for a time when the site was an integrated steel plant, the Tata team recognised that change was necessary. Jason Davies, Tata’s project engineer explains:

“The existing treatment plant was designed to cater for a completely different duty to what is expected of it now. This, along with its age meant that operating and maintaining the facility was becoming more challenging and costly, and even though the treatment process itself was achieving compliance, it was inefficient and no longer fit for purpose.”

The site’s own projects team worked with colleagues from Tata’s Swinden Technology Centre to establish a method of treating the metals laden effluent. They then engaged SPS to design and supply the necessary equipment consisting of mixed reaction tanks, a lamella clarifier, pumps and dosing systems and associated control.

SPS says it was chosen for a number of reasons not least its track record at the site; it successfully completed a temporary groundwater treatment project in 2014 at Shotton. Clwyd Jones, SPS business development manager adds:

“We worked closely with Tata’s projects team on interpretation of results from the test work already undertaken, and from there, were able to agree scope of supply and make progress. It was a pleasure to be working with Tata’s team at Shotton again and to be part of successfully delivering this phase of the effluent plant project.”

The pilot plant was installed by SPS, Tata and Tata’s other nominated subcontractors and has already reportedly shown the new treatment process to be much more efficient than the one it replaces. It occupies a very small footprint by comparison, uses far less process chemicals and generates a very small fraction of the existing plant’s filter cake volume.

Jason Davies concludes: “The pilot plant has exceeded expectation in terms of treatment capacity, and has enabled us to verify the new treatment process. We now have the confidence to use this as the basis to move forward with plans to fully replace the old treatment facilities in due course.”

The pilot plant will continue to operate until the project to replace existing treatment facilities is approved, (which is anticipated 2016), and completed.

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