Motherwell Bridge builds its first UK Wiggins type coke oven gasholder for Tata Steel

September 2013

Motherwell Bridge is completing the construction of a new-build Wiggins (dry-seal) type coke oven gasholder for Tata Steel, helping the steel company move towards energy self-sufficiency on its Port Talbot site.


The Wiggins type gasholder uses a cylindrical-shaped sealing membrane, which provides an effective gas-tight seal between the gasholder shell and the internal piston to which the membrane is fastened.

The sealing membrane is made from a textile reinforced polymeric compound, developed specifically for coke oven gas. By capturing coke oven gas effectively, Tata Steel can capitalise on its high calorific value to generate other forms of energy.

Russell Ward, CEO for Motherwell Bridge, said: “This a milestone job for Motherwell Bridge.

“We have a long-running track record for delivering storage tanks and gasholders and we’re proud to be working on such a prominent UK site and moving the Port Talbot plant another step closer to energy self-sufficiency.” 

The shell is being erected from top to bottom using a hydraulic jacking scheme and is currently on schedule with just over 45% complete. The gasholder is due to be handed over to Tata Steel in April 2014 for six months of testing and commissioning before being put into action towards the end of the same year.

Motherwell Bridge currently has 30 team members on site, working alongside a local painting sub-contractor, to create the 112,500m3 capacity holder.

Mike Wixey, Director of Engineering for Tata Steel’s Strip Products UK hub, said: “Recovering sources of energy is critical to the success of our business.

“The quality of service and expertise of the Motherwell Bridge team ensured the smooth construction of the gasholder, enabling the Port Talbot site to remain at the forefront of energy self-sufficiency.

“This technology has made a valuable contribution to our competitiveness, enabling us to retain our leadership in the iron and steel-making industry.”

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