OneSteel is committed to pursuing a high standard of environmental management throughout its operations. We strive for continual improvement in environmental performance, the efficient use of resources and the minimisation or prevention of pollution.
As part of the wider OneSteel group, Whyalla Steelworks is OneSteel's largest user of town water. We continue to work towards minimising its use of Murray River water through a variety of avenues:
– Active water efficiency program
– Ongoing use of desalinated water
– Use of recycled Municipal Water Treatment Plant water
– Reuse of process water
– Use of seawater for cooling
Optimised flow control for Blast Furnace water pump seals
The optimisation of flow control for the Blast Furnace water pump seals at the Whyalla Steelworks was one of the many water efficiency projects that contributed to an 11 per cent improvement in water intensity in 2015.
Fresh water from the Murray River is used to flush the mechanical seals on the four Blast Furnace salt water booster pumps to ensure longevity. Our teams worked to reduce the flow rate of water required to flush the seals by more than two thirds by installing flow control values. The $1000 investment is now saving more than 63,000 kL of Murray River water per year – equivalent to 25 Olympic swimming pools.
Environmental regulation and performance
OneSteel’s operations are subject to various environmental regulations at a national, state and local level. Where this regulation is particular and significant, compliance is assured through Environmental Management Systems to the ISO 14001 standard. Compliance with this regulation was generally achieved in 2015 and there were no monetary penalties issued.
As required by the NSW Government, OneSteel provides the results of environmental monitoring and Pollution Incident Response Management Plans for NSW licenced sites.