|A hulking oil tanker stands with its bow removed on Gadani beach|
|This particular ship had 54,000 tons of steel. A ship this big takes around 4 - 5 months to be completely broken down|
During the 1970’s and 80’s shipbreaking peaked as an industry here in Pakistan, and Gadani was for a time, the largest breaking yard in the world.
Today in Pakistan, shipbreaking provides a sizeable amount of the steel that is required for various development and industries. The steel is stripped from ships systematically after they arrive on shore, and then it is sent off to be further processed.
|A pair of thick protective gloves lies on the sand covered in grease. In this particular ship 11 000 tons of grease were also present in the cargo|
|The workers also add other elements to the steel to give it different properties. Here they are adding manganese to increase the magnesium content of the billets produced|
The molten steel being poured into moulds where it will be cooled into billet form.
A small sample of steel from each batch in the furnace is analysed by a mass spectrometer (not pictured) in the factory’s lab. Spectrometer detects the chemical content of the mixture in the steel. If any required element is not in its correct proportion, it is added to the molten mixture inside the furnace (as seen with magnesium in the earlier photo).
|Molten steel being poured into the mould. This is where the cooling process starts.|
|Billets are classified as semi-finished products. They are further processed via rolling and drawing. Final products include reinforcement bars (deformed bars or “sirya”), wire rod, angles, girders and shafts.|
A worker watches from one of the control rooms at a rolling mill. At the moment reinforcement bars or “sirya” are being manufactured from the billets that were made in billet factories. The billets are heated to 900 C to make them red hot so they can be moulded into reinforcement bars.
|The process of making billets involves a complex mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and electronic system which is integrated to produce reinforcement bars efficiently. Here water is being used to cool the finished product.|