Cooling steel at Kalinganagar


When Tata Steel picked Voltas for the effluent treatment plant at its (then) upcoming mega-sized steel plant in Kalinganagar, it was a double breakthrough. Firstly, it was Voltas' largest Indian order in the water and waste water domain - in fact, one of the very largest orders ever received by Voltas in any business. Secondly, it was Voltas' debut into effluent treatment as an integral part of an industrial process, that being the Steel Melt Shop in this case.

Complex and precise design was critical in making the process work. The Steel Melt operation uses circulated water as a cooling medium for molten steel, as well as a means of removing impurities through multiple passes. That's why there are very strict process parameters: each pass must yield a certain level of purity that's strictly monitored.

Voltas' scope of work included electrical & mechanical works spanning: • pump houses • cooling towers • a filter press system • a thickener system • elevated pipe rack & piping • control room buildings • a filtration system • various underground and overhead reservoirs and tanks. In other words, it was a complete turnkey job. Voltas handled basic design & engineering, equipment supply, erection, commissioning, integrated testing and a working demonstration. Specialized process-related aspects were the responsibility of project partner Hitachi Plant Technologies.

Several new ideas were brought to the project. One was the use of a Screw Clarifier, a superior technology for 'thickening', or separating impurities from water. It was coupled with a sophisticated drive system from Sumimoto, adding up to a 'first' for Tata Steel.

Multiple challenges had to be faced. It was necessary to integrate civil, electrical, mechanical, instrumentation and automation aspects, so that they proceeded together without clashing. Then there was the need to adhere to numerous standards, codes and accepted practices, while meeting several executional milestones for proper evaluation. Finally, there was Voltas' well-known concern for keeping costs down through 'value engineering' at every opportunity.
In rising to these challenges, Voltas acquired some valuable learnings indeed - while making a successful debut into process-related water treatment.