BlueScope's $8m processing line an 'investment in the future'

 Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery with BlueScope Steel's Jason Ellis and Sarah Deukmeijan watch crew start up the new $8 million hot rolled coil processing facility at Port Kembla Steelworks. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery with BlueScope Steel's Jason Ellis and Sarah Deukmeijan watch crew start up the new $8 million hot rolled coil processing facility at Port Kembla Steelworks. Picture: GREG ELLIS

A new $8 million hot rolled coil processing facility opened at BlueScope's Port Kembla Steelworks on Monday.

The new processing line uses state-of-the-art stretch-levelling technology to make coil plate and has been strategically installed next to the hot strip mill.

Construction finished ahead of schedule, which meant Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery was able to open it a month early.

Cr Bradbery spoke about the importance of adding value to the region's economy.

He said BlueScope's willingness to continue its long relationship with Wollongong was testimony to its ongoing confidence in the region.

BlueScope sales, marketing, innovation and trading general manager Jason Ellis said it was a great day for the steelworks and an investment in the future.

The company was able to deliver a higher-quality product, he said.

"It is also important for our industry in general because this is a reinvestment back in steel.

"It doesn't happen very often. It really is a significant milestone for all of us, not just BlueScope.

"This material and this product will help deliver better value for our customers and their customers," he said.

BlueScope manufacturing general manager John Nowlan said the new processing line would employ about 10 people in two shifts.

"It is adding value to the coil that we make," he said.

BlueScope's new coil plate product will be available in the market as TRU-SPEC™ Coil Plate steel.

It is designed to bend, cut, press and form predictably to ensure quality products can be produced efficiently and easily.

BlueScope product and brand manager Gregory Moffitt said customers were definitely in mind in the latest investment.

The flatness and consistency of the coil plate steel was particularly suited to the industry's growing preference towards laser cutting, which required products to stay flat during cutting, he said.

"Stretch levelling technology produces a 'memory-free' product, which means TRU-SPEC™ Coil Plate steel is less likely to flex up and jam or damage the laser cutter."

Full production is expected to begin on September 1.

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