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Monday, August 31, 2009

Inauguration of Furnace No. 1, Pakistan Steel, Karachi (August 31, 1981)


The firing of the first Blast Furnace marks a giant step forward in an effort to develop a viable industrial infrastructure for Pakistan and enable the nation to tread the same path towards industrialisation which all industrialised and post-industrialised societies followed a few decades ago.
PAKISTAN STEEL is a project of basic importance to the country; it is in fact the first step towards the formation of a techno-economic base which will go a long way in providing raw materials for various engineering, capital goods and construction industries. It will indeed alter the industrial landscape of the country.
The Project
Ground was broken for leveling and grading of site in early 1974. The construction of the training centre and the Construction Base, alongwith the first phase of the housing colony, also commenced in 1974. Construction activity on the Main Plant started in the first quarter of 1976.
Technology
Advanced Blast Furnace technology for iron making and BOF/LD converter (Basic Oxygen Furnace/Linz-Donawitz converter) for steel making with continuous casting facilities has been chosen for Pakistan’s first integrated steel works. This route for steel making is both modern and commercially proven; it is being used for making nearly 70% of the world’s steel.
Some units of the Main Plant, e.g., Tonnage Oxygen Plant, Refrigeration Plant etc., have been procured by Pakistan from countries other than USSR under its own arrangements. The complex civil, mechanical and electrical jobs at the Main Plant - of a magnitude never attempted before in this country - are being undertaken by Pakistani contractors, directly engaged by PAKISTAN STEEL. Pakistani firms are also participating substantially in the fabrication of steel structures and non-standard equipment. Their participation in the actual implementation of the project is substantial and the over all responsibility for Project Management rests on Pakistani shoulders.
Schedule of Completion
The project is planned to be completed in two stages. The first Blast Furnace has been fired while Steel Making Plant and 800 mm Billet Mill would become operational in 1982. This will mark the completion of stage 1. The saleable products to be produced at this stage will include coke, pig iron and steel billet. The second stage is scheduled for completion in 1984. This will see the commissioning of the 1,700 mm Hot Strip Mill in 1983 and the Cold Rolling Mills, along with Galvanizing Plant, by end 1984, when flat products and formed sections will be produced, Full production level of 1.1 million ton per year is expected to be achieved in 1984—85.
Manpower
For the execution of the enormous civil and mechanical engineering works involved in the construction of the steel works, a large work force of about 34,000 has been currently deployed at the site, of which 18,487 workers are directly engaged by PAKISTAN STEEL and the rest by contractors. At the peak level of construction activity in 1981—82, the total number of personnel engaged at the Project is likely to reach 40,000.
When the plant goes into operation, 15,000 persons of all categories would be required to operate the Plant at optimum capacity.
The thousands of Pakistani managers, engineers and workers engaged on this gigantic project have displayed a high degree of motivation and remarkable aptitude in learning new technologies and undertaking complicated and complex assignments never handled in the country in the past. On completion, the Steelworks will no doubt be a monument to the high quality of Pakistani worker and his immense sense of devotion to this national project. Pakistan Steel Project is of great national importance; its real value lies in building up the economic strength of the country, in substantial foreign exchange savings, in providing basic raw materials for metallurgical and engineering industries, in providing the vital stimulus for setting up of new, high value-added industries, in creating substantial job opportunities for skilled workers and engineers, in upgrading technology and in raising the standard of living of our people.
To commemorate the inauguration of Furnace No. 1 of Pakistan Steel, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of two commemorative postage stamps of the values of 40 Poise & Rs. 2.00 on 30 Shawwal,1401 AN. corresponding to 31 August, 1981.