Marr secures heavy lifting job for BlueScope's No. 6 blast furnace reline project

Marr secures heavy lifting job for BlueScope’s No. 6 blast furnace reline project

Photo Marr Contracting

Marr Contracting (Marr) has been awarded a contract to provide critical heavy lifting services for the BlueScope No. 6 Blast Furnace (6BF) Reline Project at the Port Kembla Steelworks (PKSW).

This project is vital for securing the long-term future of steelmaking in the Illawarra region. Announced in August 2023, the project involves the reline and upgrade of the currently dormant 6BF to ensure continued steel production beyond 2026, when the existing No. 5 Blast Furnace (5BF) reaches the end of its operational lifespan.

PKSW, one of only two major steelmaking plants in Australia, directly employs approximately 3,500 people and indirectly supports an additional 5,500 jobs in the region. The AU$1.15 billion ($768 million) project encompasses the relining of the furnace, repairs, and upgrades to ancillary equipment, and a AU$100 million ($66.7 million) investment in environmental improvements. This investment will allow PKSW to maintain production while transitioning towards lower-emission steelmaking technologies as they become available.

Marr’s approach to the project eliminates the need for a traditional 600-tonne crawler crane. Instead, they will utilise a single Marr M2480D crane with a 330-tonne capacity, specifically installed on a custom-designed 7.5-metre by 7.5-metre piled foundation. This solution provides the required lifting capacity with the added benefits of a smaller footprint and a longer reach across the project site.

Minimising disruption to ongoing production at PKSW is paramount. Marr’s solution ensures the 6BF is operational before the 5BF reaches the end of its campaign. This reduces complexity and mitigates risk to the critical project timeline by providing an “instant cranage” solution for unscheduled lifting and unforeseen work during the relining process.

“Occasionally, we come across a project where the perfect solution immediately presents itself like a hand in a glove. This has been one of those projects and by working closely with the BlueScope team early in the planning stages, it has been possible to develop a simple solution that will reduce complexity and help to secure the tight construction program,” said Marr’s Managing Director, Simon Marr.

According to PKSW Project Director, Justin Reed, “The capability and capacity of Marr’s tower crane is a true game-changer for our project. At vertical industrial sites like a Blast Furnace we have always wished there was a ‘sky-hook’ that could deliver a lift at any point on the plant, and now we have a solution with significant lifting capacity. Marr’s team are challenging our traditional thinking by enabling large sections of equipment that were previously maintained in situ to be lifted to ground for repairs or replacement.”

BlueScope anticipates the recommissioning of the 6BF in mid-2026. Marr’s innovative heavy lifting solutions will play a crucial role in ensuring the project’s success and the continued viability of steelmaking in the Illawarra region.

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Author: Adnan Bajic

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Marr secures heavy lifting job for BlueScope’s No. 6 blast furnace reline project
Marr secures heavy lifting job for BlueScope's No. 6 blast furnace reline project

Marr secures heavy lifting job for BlueScope’s No. 6 blast furnace reline project

Photo Marr Contracting

Marr Contracting (Marr) has been awarded a contract to provide critical heavy lifting services for the BlueScope No. 6 Blast Furnace (6BF) Reline Project at the Port Kembla Steelworks (PKSW).

This project is vital for securing the long-term future of steelmaking in the Illawarra region. Announced in August 2023, the project involves the reline and upgrade of the currently dormant 6BF to ensure continued steel production beyond 2026, when the existing No. 5 Blast Furnace (5BF) reaches the end of its operational lifespan.

PKSW, one of only two major steelmaking plants in Australia, directly employs approximately 3,500 people and indirectly supports an additional 5,500 jobs in the region. The AU$1.15 billion ($768 million) project encompasses the relining of the furnace, repairs, and upgrades to ancillary equipment, and a AU$100 million ($66.7 million) investment in environmental improvements. This investment will allow PKSW to maintain production while transitioning towards lower-emission steelmaking technologies as they become available.

Marr’s approach to the project eliminates the need for a traditional 600-tonne crawler crane. Instead, they will utilise a single Marr M2480D crane with a 330-tonne capacity, specifically installed on a custom-designed 7.5-metre by 7.5-metre piled foundation. This solution provides the required lifting capacity with the added benefits of a smaller footprint and a longer reach across the project site.

Minimising disruption to ongoing production at PKSW is paramount. Marr’s solution ensures the 6BF is operational before the 5BF reaches the end of its campaign. This reduces complexity and mitigates risk to the critical project timeline by providing an “instant cranage” solution for unscheduled lifting and unforeseen work during the relining process.

“Occasionally, we come across a project where the perfect solution immediately presents itself like a hand in a glove. This has been one of those projects and by working closely with the BlueScope team early in the planning stages, it has been possible to develop a simple solution that will reduce complexity and help to secure the tight construction program,” said Marr’s Managing Director, Simon Marr.

According to PKSW Project Director, Justin Reed, “The capability and capacity of Marr’s tower crane is a true game-changer for our project. At vertical industrial sites like a Blast Furnace we have always wished there was a ‘sky-hook’ that could deliver a lift at any point on the plant, and now we have a solution with significant lifting capacity. Marr’s team are challenging our traditional thinking by enabling large sections of equipment that were previously maintained in situ to be lifted to ground for repairs or replacement.”

BlueScope anticipates the recommissioning of the 6BF in mid-2026. Marr’s innovative heavy lifting solutions will play a crucial role in ensuring the project’s success and the continued viability of steelmaking in the Illawarra region.

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access? Take advantage of our exclusive offer

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Author: Adnan Bajic

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