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ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY HEADLINESEnvironment and Sustainability
New National Thermal Technologies Innovation Centre in Teesside Opens for Business
Jun. 4, 2012
The facility, which is unique in the United Kingdom and one of only a few in the world, provides world-leading expertise, assets and capabilities to enable thermal processing businesses to innovate new products and processes. It brings together the thermal processing skills of Tata Steel and the technology innovation capability of CPI.
A collaboration between the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Tata Steel, the Thermal Technologies Centre opened for business on 31 May 2012 in Middlesbrough. Based at Tata Steel’s Teesside Technology Centre, the £5m centre provides an open access facility which will pioneer new ways of turning materials such as biomass into high-grade fuels and energy.
The new centre strengthens the UK’s international competitiveness in developing products and processes for the process, energy, construction and materials, metallurgical and recycling and reclamation sectors. The Thermal Technologies Centre currently offers two demonstration-scale assets: a multi-mode gasifier and a batch pyrolyzer. These enable the processing of biomass or other alternative feedstocks, plus end-of-use materials, to produce energy and low-carbon fuels. These demonstration-scale assets are supported by laboratory-scale facilities, as well as a comprehensive analytical capability.
In addition to laboratory and demonstration-scale assets, the Thermal Technologies Centre offers services for customers seeking to investigate, develop and scale up thermal products and processes.
Gareth Fletcher, director of the Thermal Technologies Centre, said: “The Thermal Technologies Centre is an exciting new development which will contribute to the strengthening of the UK’s competitiveness by supporting the development of new products and processes, and enabling the translation of innovation into commercial activity. It will permit the thermal processing industries to increase manufacturing efficiency, reduce energy consumption, lower reliance on raw materials and support the development of the UK’s low-carbon economy.”
Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler, MD and CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “This centre will give us the opportunity to work with like-minded organizations that are embracing the challenge of reducing manufacturers’ carbon footprint and their impact on the environment.
“It will be open to companies and researchers from around the world and will help strengthen Teesside’s globally competitive process industries. This collaboration reflects the strong commitment Tata Steel has both to the Teesside region, where we continue to employ 1,500 people, and to research and development in Europe.”
The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations in the UK and the Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, lifting & excavating, energy & power, aerospace and other demanding markets worldwide. Tata Steel is one of the world’s top ten steel producers. The combined group has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.
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