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Milestone for BlueScope Steel

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Monarch leaving Port Kembla harbour

BlueScope Steel recently celebrated a major milestone with the "MV Iron Monarch" taking its total delivery of slabs from Port Kembla Steelworks to Western Port Works to 20 million tonnes.

Celebrations were held on July 22 and July 29, at both the start and the end of the journey, to formally acknowledge the vessels impressive achievement.

Built in 1973, the Iron Monarch was converted into a slab carrier in 1985. It is regarded as a unique vessel within Australian maritime operations. The vessel makes around 70 voyages each year between Port Kembla and Western Port.

Mills and Coating general manager Gabe Meena pointed out the significance of the milestone.

"Imagine a stockpile of 890,000 individual slabs. That is equivalent to 3.8 years output from the steelworks at current casting rates. This reliable and efficient supply chain enables us to send around a million tonnes of slabs a year to the Western Port Hot Strip Mill, which in turn supplies feed to the metal coating and painting lines that support Australia's?automotive and building industry in Victoria and South Australia."

Mr Meena also took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in the Western Port slab supply chain including steelmakers, logistics personnel, Teekay Marine Services, Patrick Stevedoring and Western Port Works personnel. "Congratulations on this significant milestone," he said.

During the function particular thanks were given to the people who sail and look after the vessel & many of the crew have spent their careers with BHP and BlueScope Steel.

Owned by BlueScope Steel and registered in Melbourne, it is operated by an Australian crew. Teekay Marine Services have managed the vessel since 2002.

BlueScope Steel was keen to celebrate the milestone because it wanted to recognise that Iron Monarch and Teekay had achieved an admirable safety record while maintaining a reliable and efficient schedule. The last lost time injury on the Iron Monarch was almost 1000 days ago.

A company spokesperson said the vessel was in excellent condition and continued to impress industry professionals. In March, the carrier will go to Singapore for a 60-day dry docking and life extension project.

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