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Tanzania steel: the critical juncture

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The steel industry in Tanzania is at a critical juncture. Image credit: Schneider Electric East Africa

Tanzania steel: the critical juncture 

The steel industry in Tanzania has seen some exciting growth in recent years, driven by segments such as construction, mining, and governmental infrastructure projects. 

Pius Nzethe, MMM Segment leader at Schneider Electric East Africa 

Recent growth in Tanzania’s steel industry comes with a caveat: the industry’s expansion is putting considerable strain on the country’s energy infrastructure.

Looking at the industry, iron ore deposits in the Jombe region remain unexploited. Instead, the steel value chain begins with imported steel billets or scrap steel which is converted into ingots and further processed into a variety of long and flat steel products. And driving this growth is the demand for reinforced steel bars and steel roofing sheets.

The Tanzanian government, together with its investment arm, the National Development Corporation (NDC) has introduced ambitious plans to tap into the iron ore deposits in the Southern Highlands region of the country. This includes attracting investment in the Liganga and Mchuchuma iron ore ventures.

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Energy management can overcome hurdles (Tanzania steel: the critical juncture)

As the Tanzanian steel industry currently stands, it needs to find solutions to a few challenges to stay on this growth trajectory.  For one, the industry continues to grapple with the high cost of raw materials as well operational inefficiencies. This is further exacerbated by the high cost of energy and resultant, previously mentioned, strain on the country’s infrastructure.

This is where the role of energy management comes into play.  Efficient energy management reduces production costs whilst increasing operational efficiency, enhancing the steel industry’s competitiveness and profitability.

Energy management solutions, for example, monitor energy consumption across various sections of a plant.  This allows for the proactive tracking of energy usage, enabling manufacturers identify areas where energy can be conserved, and costs minimised.

Tanzanian governmental regulatory bodies and non-governmental organisations are also exerting pressure on steel manufacturers to reduce pollution and minimise their environmental footprint. As a result, the industry is moving towards practices such as energy management to establish cleaner and more sustainable practices.

Schneider Electric can play an important role in steering Tanzania’s steel industry towards greener and more sustainable practices. Our solutions that include EcoStruxure Power Management Expert (PME) and EcoStruxure Power Optimiser (EPO) can assist manufacturers in maximising uptime and operational efficiency.

The solutions offer the following benefits:

  • Energy benchmarking to reveal opportunities for improvement.
  • Trending and energy modelling to identify abnormal energy usage.
  • Avoiding power factor and peak demand penalties and identifying billing errors.
  • Enabling participation in demand response programs.
  • Allocating costs to specific departments or processes for accountability.
  • Analysing equipment performance for proactive maintenance.
  • Identifying unused system capacity to avoid overbuilding.

The Tanzanian steel industry is at a critical juncture, with a growing demand for steel products and the need for a greener, more sustainable future. Energy management practices, offer a path to address these challenges.

Tanzania steel: the critical juncture

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Tanzania steel: the critical juncture

 

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