Tata Steel will invest UK£8 million (US$12.9 million) on the expansion of its Clydebridge plant in Glasgow, Scotland to produce 50% more high-strength steel that can be used to build cranes.
The Clydebridge plant produces specialist high-strength steel for applications where contact abrasion and the strength-to-weight ratio are significant factors, for example crane chassis, superstructures and booms. As a result of the expansion it will be able to produce a higher volume of quenched and tempered plate (Q&T) steel.
The investment includes expanding the plant's two furnaces, installing two new gas cutting machines and a new stamping and marking machine. It will increase output capacity to 3,200 tonnes per week and lead to the creation of about 26 jobs.
"The difficult-to-make material, used in some of the most challenging environments around the world, is produced by heating steel to 1,000 °C before quenching and/or tempering to alter its microstructure to improve strength," said a company spokesman.
The steel processed at Clydebridge is manufactured in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, UK before being rolled at one of Tata Steel's two UK plate mills at Scunthorpe or Dalzell. For Q&T plate steel in yield strength 960 MPa, the thickness range is 8 to 25 mm. Q&T plates in yield strength 1,100 MPa and 1,300 MPa are in development with a production date in the medium term.
The recruitment at Clydebridge will start in the second quarter of 2012, prior to the expanded capacity coming on line in summer 2012. About 100 people are employed in Clydebridge, with a further 230 in Dalzell.