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Company News, 2003-04-17, 02:00 AM

Bruckhausen coke plant closes for good - Significant reduction in pollution

On April 16 at around 22.47 p.m., the last coke was pushed from the ovens at the old August Thyssen coke plant, and the two remaining batteries - 6 a and 6 b - were taken out of operation as scheduled, one month after the first coke oven battery was started up in Schwelgern. With battery 2 already having being closed down in December 2002, the history of coke production in Duisburg-Bruckhausen has come to an end. As the new Schwelgern coke plant is more than a kilometer from the residential areas and fitted out with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment, residents in the north of Duisburg can look forward to a greatly improved quality of life.

Coke production at Bruckhausen started in 1897. In parallel with the construction of the first blast furnace, August Thyssen also commissioned a coke plant, using coal from his own mine Gewerkschaft Deutscher Kaiser. This ensured low cost supplies to the steel mill and reaped the benefits of the energy network. The facility was expanded in phases, and by 1926 it had become the first central coke plant in Europe. Following its destruction in World War Two, three new batteries were built in the 1950s, followed by two more in the early 1970s and a sixth in 1983. The plant had 354 furnaces and a capacity of some 2.5 million tons of blast furnace coke per year.

As the steelmaking operations were established and expanded, from the beginning of the 20th century residential areas sprang up on former agricultural land in the direct vicinity. Although having housing just a few hundred meters from the coke plant was originally seen as desirable, with growing environmental awareness and associated demands it later became a problem.

Not least due to environmental considerations, the new coke plant was built in the Schwelgern dock area. In parallel with approval procedures and the realization of this major investment project, criticism of the Bruckhausen coke plant grew from politicians and public alike. As a result, the three oldest batteries from the 1950s had to be shut down in 1998/99. Since then, the remaining three batteries with a capacity of 1 million t were operated as a stop-gap coke plant. Alternative sources of coke had to be found for the blast furnaces during this transitional period, but the gap will be closed when the second battery of the Schwelgern coke plant comes on stream in the summer quarter.

ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
Erwin Schneider
Tel.: +49 203 52 - 2 56 90
Fax: +49 203 52 - 2 57 07

Dietmar Stamm
Tel.: +49 203 52 - 2 62 67
Fax: +49 203 52 - 2 57 07

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