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Visit to Glenbrook Steel Mill

A group of 16 had a very enjoyable and informative 3 hour visit to the Glenbrook Steel Mill on Wednesday 21 October. The visit commenced with a short video which outlined the process from start to finish of the manufacture of steel. Before commencing the tour we had to wear a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves and a safety jacket.

We were then split into three groups each with a tour leader. The only part of the manufacturing process we could not see was the pouring of the molten steel as part of the Mill was closed for maintenance. The magnitude of the operation was very enlightening and some of the statistics that were spoken about were as follows:

The Mill produces 650,000 tons of high quality steel per annum with its customer base drawn largely from within the Pacific Rim, the sand is pumped from the head of the Waikato River approximately 16 kilometres away. Similarly the water the Mill uses is drawn from the Waikato River and 95% of it is recycled. The mill is served by the Mission Bush Branch railway line, which was formerly a branch line to Waiuku. Coal and lime trains arrive daily.

The most amazing statistic was the amount of electricity the Mill uses per day is $1,000,000. The highlight of the tour was seeing a steel ingot about 20 metres in length going through the process of being stretched to a length of around 70 metres or more and cooled at the same time in less than 5 minutes.


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