GFG Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta visits Whyalla as the steel plant recovery reaches important milestone

GFG Alliance Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta visited the Whyalla steelworks to see progress on the blast furnace which restarted on the weekend.

Sanjeev was given a detailed briefing by lead iron and steel-making engineers and project managers overseeing the restart operations. The briefing included an overview of the cause of the damage to the Blast Furnace, current progress, and a projected timeline for normalising operations of the blast furnace and steel plant.

“I want to reassure our people and the Whyalla community that we are committed to getting our plant back to normal production as soon as possible. The repair of the Blast Furnace shell has been a slow and precise exercise. It could not be rushed, our people’s safety always comes first.

“We are now seeing concrete progress. The furnace’s shell repair is completed and hot metal is flowing from the emergency tap hole. This is an important milestone, and I have every confidence our expert team will soon bring our high-quality steel-making back to normal production.”

During the visit, Sanjeev took the opportunity to engage with the restart team. He acknowledged their efforts and emphasised the importance of their role.

“I’m incredibly proud of the skill and expertise of our people, we have the best in the business. And I’m grateful for their hard work and dedication in these difficult times.

While in Whyalla, Sanjeev also met with Mayor Phill Stone, and other key community stakeholders. Discussions included detailed updates on the blast furnace, steelworks and community wellbeing development projects.

“I remain committed to the future of Whyalla and achieving our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 through our green steel transformation. Recently, we decided to align timelines for the delivery of our Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) with a Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plant. Whyalla is the only producer of rail in Australia and DRI is an important ingredient to achieve the appropriate steel grade when it’s produced using an electric arc furnace.

“Project timelines have been matched with the expected availability of natural gas and hydrogen required for the production of DRI using our high-grade magnetite, well within our CN30 ambition.”