Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Iron Ore & Coal Berth of Pakistan Steel at Port Qasim.

 ( Pakistan Steel). 

The iron ore and coal (essential raw materials) used in Pakistan Steel are imported primarily from the Canada, Brazil, Australia, Iran and India because resources of iron ore and coal in Pakistan are quality wise poor and not economically viable for manufacturing of iron & Steel in B.F.-LD-Converter route of Pakistan Steel.

The coal and iron ore arrive by sea in very large ships and are off-loaded at port Qasim with grab unloaders.

The Iron Ore and Coal berth commissioned in 1980 is a specialized berth for handling Iron Ore, Coal & Manganese ore for Pakistan Steel Mills.

The berth 279 meters in length is equipped with two grab unloaders (universal machines unloading capacity 1000 tonne/hour each) which handle the Vessels of upto 55,000  tonne payload.

The design capacity of the berth stands is 3.36 million tonne per annum, where two 4.5 kilometer long conveyor belts transport the raw materials to Pakistan Steel’s Stockyard.

The estimated amount of Iron ore deposits of the world over are approximately 800 billion tons.Iron exists as natural ores mostly in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (Fe2O3).
The others forms of iron ore  like goethite (FeO(OH)), limonite (FeO(OH).n(H2O)) or siderite (FeCO3) are small and need higher benefication cost.

Ores carrying very high quantities of hematite or magnetite (greater than ~60% iron) are known as "natural ores" or "direct shipping ores", meaning they can be fed directly into iron-making Blast furnaces or Direct reduction furnaces.

Representative sources of Iron ores are found in Brazil, Australia, Russia, Ukrain, mainland China, India, America, Canada, South Africa, Iran and elsewhere. The phosphorus and sulfur contents of ores differ greatly according to their origin.

 Australia and Brazil will lead the drive towards increased worldwide steel production capacity over the next several years.

Pakistan Steel has to import approximately 1.7 million tonne of iron ore annually (minimum 60% Fe content of Iron Ore grade) and about 0.55 million tonne of  metallurgical coal to achieve 1.1 million tonne/year capacity.

It takes about half hour to reach the raw material from jetty to Pakistan steel’s stockyard.

The coals and Iron ore are imported through tenders raised by B.M.D. Pakistan Steel and are transported via converyors  from port Qasim to stockyard where they are stored and carefully blended. Pakistan Steel’s raw material stock yard is equipped with  Boom type bucket wheel stacker- reclaimer (shown above) for loading and unloading the coal and iron ore  which are onward supplied to Coke oven, Sintering plant and Iron Making Departments through conveyor system.

As per project design, the existing production capacity of Pakistan steel is 1.1 million tonne /year which has a provision of future expansion to 2.2 million tonne/year. For that reason there is a stocking capacity available for the raw materials accordingly. Pakistan Steel is subjected to run on long term import contracts of Iron Ore and Coking Coals. Keeping in view world wide coal and iron ore price fluctuation, supply and demand dynamics, these basic inputs may be stocked up to maximum available capacity rather than facing a recent situation of raw material shortage and complete shutdown, caused a loss of billions of Rupees.

Apart from above, there is a need to closely monitor the whole process of tendering, shipping, month wise available stocks position and timely actions at any delaying stage through all time close coordination between management of Pakistan steel and ministry of production who may be held responsible / accountable for any negligence in this regard. 

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