TATA Steel remains out after accident at EAF

Tata Steel eyes quick plant reboot.

Bangkok, Thailand October 11, 2018 – SET-listed Tata Steel Thailand Plc (TSTH) says an electric arc furnace steel plant in Rayong province is expected to resume full operations within 15 days after its technician team and local government staff complete an investigation.
The plant had an explosion on the morning of Oct 6 when the electric arc furnace was warming after relining. The facility is run by TSTH's subsidiary -- Siam Construction Steel Co -- in Rayong's Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate.

The state-run Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is the operator of the Map Ta Phut location and is taking part in this process.

TSTH submitted a letter to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Tuesday that there was no leakage of hazardous chemicals to the environment and no impact to neighboring factories and surrounding communities.

Downstream rolling mill operations are running as normal. Four workers who were present near the furnace at the time of the explosion were injured. The four injured workers were immediately taken to a hospital. Two had minor injuries and have since been allowed to return home. The two others had burns and are still being treated at the hospital.

The plant is working to return to normal operations. Repair of the machine and damaged roof has begun. An expert team was summoned to review the furnace's safety system. TSTH plans to institute necessary safety measures to prevent a recurrence of the accident.

Siam Construction Steel Co produces billet and hot rolls steel into rebar, with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year. TSTH's business, as it can supply steel products to dealers and retailers as normal.

Somchint Pilouk, IEAT's governor, said it told TSTH to close the plant for 15 days until the investigation is complete. The primary cause was found to be a malfunction of the ignition of a natural gas system when the electric arc furnace was warming after relining. As a result, the accumulation of natural gas in the furnace coincided with the ignition of the fuel system, causing it to catch fire and explode inside the furnace.

Some property was damaged such as a roof and part of the plant's wall, including the electric arc furnace's control room.

TSTH has been told to provide updated information every five days to the IEAT.