NSW Government approves $650 million refurbishment of BlueScope's Port Kembla Plate Mill

A $650 million refurbishment of BlueScope’s Port Kembla plate mill aimed to boost production, create jobs, and enhance sustainability will get underway following NSW Government approval.

Watch BlueScope's coverage of the Plate Mill Modernisation announcement. Video: BlueScope.

The NSW Government has approved a major refurbishment of BlueScope's 60-year-old plate mill at Port Kembla. The $650 million project will modernise the facility, replacing two outdated furnaces with energy-efficient alternatives and upgrading infrastructure. This upgrade is set to enhance the mill's production capacity from 430,000 to 600,000 tonnes annually.

The project promises to benefit the construction, renewable energy, and defence sectors by increasing the availability of high-quality steel plates. The refurbishment includes significant environmental measures to reduce fuel consumption and overall environmental impact.

The project will also create 95 full-time construction jobs during peak periods and add 18 new operational positions. Work is scheduled to begin in July 2024 and will take three years to complete.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, noted the historical significance of the Port Kembla Steelworks, which has been operational for nearly a century.

“This major project represents the most comprehensive upgrade of the plate mill since it was built in 1963," Scully said.

"Much of the original plant is still in use today including the original reheat furnaces, and 6 decades later, this upgrade is needed to modernise operations and increase efficiency."

To support this development, a new 'whole of government' Working Group will be established, chaired by Scully, to coordinate decisions related to the industrial land transformation project, expected to provide employment for up to 30,000 people.

Chief Executive of Australian Steel Products, Tania Archibald, also reflected on the significance of the upgrade plans, stating, "The modernisation of the plate mill is an important step in bolstering Australia's sovereign manufacturing capability, supporting critical industries like renewable energy, defence and major infrastructure."

The refurbishment project shows BlueScope’s commitment to sustainability and efficiency in steel production, and their plan to ensure the facility remains a vital part of the local economy for years to come.

Read more about BlueScope here.

Resources Industry Partners


Events, grants, news, resources and project announcements. Stay informed via our newsletters.