Cool, clear Franklin mornings

Occasionally, this time of year, we are treated to some fantastically cool, clear mornings here in Franklin with a little wind.

I witnessed one of these not long ago and it made for some fantastic photography of the Steel Mill. Naturally the steam from the Mill is hot and hot air rises. It’s during these calm mornings that one can capture some truly breathtaking photographs when nature allows this steam to carry on upward into the atmosphere.

A little bit of history on the Steel Mill:
The Mill was constructed in 1968 and began the production of steel soon after in 1969. Of late, the Mill produces some 650,000 tonnes of steel annually. Some of it is used right here in New Zealand and some of it is exported. Did you know that over 90 per cent of the steel used in New Zealand comes from the Glenbrook Mill? The Mill also has its own railway network, which employs some 1500 staff (many of which are local) and some 200 plus contractors.

To manufacture the steel, ironsand ore is mined 18 kilometres away from the Mill, then transferred by pipeline as slurry which is later turned into steel. Approximately 1.2 million tonnes of this ironsand is transferred to the Mill annually.

What I found rather interesting was some of the feedback from readers of social media about the ‘black soot’ they have experienced with certain wind conditions in the area. Predominantly, a westerly will prevail in the region which is why I think that a lot of the ‘black soot’ people observe is likely from the West Coast’s naturally occurring black sands. Sand has also the ability to travel high into the atmosphere.

Has any of this ‘black soot’ been tested if claimed to be from the Mill? There are ongoing studies regarding the omissions from the Mill as they must meet environmental policies and the like. What are readers experiences with this? Have you had this soot or are you aware that the Mill has regular testing and therefore you are not worried?

I would really like to hear from readers and their comments and I will look into it. In the meantime, I will leave you with this stunning photograph.

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