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Schwelgern dock Duisburg, World s most modern, cleanest coking plant goes into operation

ThyssenKrupp Steel : 13 March, 2003  (Company News)
A mammoth project is complete: After a construction period lasting just under three years the first battery of the new coking plant at Schwelgern harbor in Duisburg went into operation on March 13, the second battery will follow in roughly three months. The owner CARBONARIA Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. and the plant managing company KBS Kokereibetriebsgesellschaft Schwelgern GmbH celebrated the official opening together with guests from politics and public life as well as representatives of ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG, the coking plant's main customer.
Schwelgern coking plant was built under a so-called investor and operator model. The owner is CARBONARIA, in which the companies CommerzLeasing and Hannover Leasing have an indirect stake. The lessee and operator of the plant is Pruna Betreiber GmbH, who in fulfilling its task will avail itself of the services of managing company KBS Kokereibetriebsgesellschaft Schwelgern. 300 employees of the previous Kokerei August Thyssen have already been transferred to this company. 'In financing this ambitious project, the leasing companies and the banks have agreed to bear a significant portion of the risk, including the residual value risk,' said CARBONARIA managing director Norbert Fath during the opening ceremony.

The new €800 million coking plant has a capacity of around 2.5 million tons a year of high-quality blast furnace coke. It will meet the coke requirements of ThyssenKrupp Stahl's two large blast furnaces in Duisburg Schwelgern, roughly 70 percent of the company's total coke needs. 'The location of the plant in Schwelgern dock provides an ideal link to the Dutch ports on the Rhine estuary and therefore considerable logistical advantages,' emphasized Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler, Executive Board Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Stahl, in his speech. 'The favorable transport links for imported coal, as with ore, represent a key competitive advantage, which will be reflected in the coke price paid by ThyssenKrupp Stahl.' Another economic advantage of the new plant, according to Köhler, is its integration in the steel mill's energy network: 'The coke oven gas arising during production will be used among other things to heat the furnaces in our rolling mills.'

In addition to the economic arguments favoring the building of the new plant, Köhler emphasized that it was also essential from an environmental point of view and would lead to significant reductions in dust and CO2 emissions in the north of the city. 'The coking plant is a key investment in Duisburg as a place of industry, it is vital to strengthening its competitiveness as a steelmaking center. The new plant will also significantly improve the environmental situation in the north of Duisburg as the old coke plant in Bruckhausen is finally closed in spring 2003.'

The new coking plant is more than a kilometer away from surrounding residential areas in the north of Duisburg, much further than the over a hundred year old Kokerei August Thyssen. The impact of emissions on residents will therefore be kept as low as possible. As an added advantage for the environment, Schwelgern coke plant will have only two batteries rather than the six of Kokerei August Thyssen and only 140 coke ovens rather than 354, so the number of pushing operations daily will drop from 560 to only 135. Together with a newly developed single-chamber pressure control system for the coke ovens and highly efficient sealing systems on the coke oven doors, this will significantly reduce emissions compared with the current technology.

For production, cost and not least environmental reasons, the new coking plant with the largest coke ovens in the world requires the use of wet quenching. A newly developed quenching process, not used anywhere previously, will make it possible to achieve the lowest level of quenching tower dust emissions anywhere in the world. 'Compliance with strict emissions standards will be verified by extensive measurements to demonstrate to residents the environmental compatibility of this technology,' explained Peter Liszio, managing director of KBS Kokereibetriebsgesellschaft.

Last but not least, the new coking plant will also offer 'ecology for the eye'. The attractive color scheme of the plant, devised by color designer Friedrich Ernst von Garnier, lets it blend harmoniously into its surroundings and adds a new visual highlight to Schwelgern dock.
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