Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bankrupt US Steel Canada Will Restart the Coke Ovens in Hamilton

So reports the Hamilton Spectator here. I'm surprised that this happened so early and I actually thought that there was a good chance they wouldn't be restarted at all. The Spec has reported that companies are interested:

"Adding extra urgency, the company said, was a ship carrying 30,000 tonnes of coal bound for the Lake Erie plant that could be redirected to Hamilton if permission was given Friday. 

The company said keeping the Hamilton oven in "hot idle" — still being fed fuel so it could be brought back into production — costs $1.5 million a month. If a stream of revenue could be created to offset that cost the company would benefit and the oven itself would be kept healthy, possibly making it more appealing to a buyer. 

Some buyers, the company added, are already "kicking the tires" of the coke plant."

Spending 1.5 million per month for hot idling to keep the battery viable is quite expensive and it makes me wonder how valuable the battery is. In some sense it has a license to pollute as in comparison to the overall steel making process it is quite high. 

It is a question of whether this is worth it to Hamilton to keep in operation. If Dofasco ends up buying it, that isn't so bad, however shipping the made coke from coal to another city probably wouldn't be worth the extra pollution to the city for the business it would generate locally.

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