..was put into operation in May 1953 on ground of the Ougrée-Marihaye steel company in Belgium. It was a paneuropean research project sponsored by the ECSC and there was a second shaft furnace at the HOAG steel works in Oberhausen, Germany.
The Ougrée-furnace was quiet unusual not only by it’s size (just a 9 m tall shaft) but by it’s oval shaped hearth too.
The furnace ran several campaigns to test different ore and coke burdens, oxygen injection etc. .
It’s inner and outer design was changed several times. From 1958 on the project was called AIRBO (Association International pour les Recherches de base au Bas fourneau d’Ougrée).
The Ougrée experimental blast furnace was closed down in 1971.
In the mid-1980s, my old Ford Granada brought me to Liège, among other places, as the outcome of a short but intense groundhopper career.
Behind the infamous Hell Side of Standard Liege you could see the blast furnaces B and 5 of Cockerill-Sambre and I decided to take a closer look at them again, which unfortunately would take me more than 10 years.
Engineering Steel Belgium (ESB) in Seraing, Belgium announced that it will finally close down it’s steel making and casting facilities. Production is already down for two weeks.
The 70 ton electric arc furnace and the world’s largest round strand caster were built in 1972 by Cockerill to provide blooms for the Tubemeuse Pilger rolling mill across the river.
Tubemeuse was founded in 1911 under the name S.A. des Usines à Tubes de la Meuse. It was later taken over by Cockerill and went bancrupt in 1988. The mill carried on under the name New Tubemeuse until it filed bancruptcy again in 1993. The tube rolling facilities were closed down this time and the melt shop was sold to the Ellwood Steel
company from Pennsylvania.
In 2009 the German GMH group bought the site.
Five days ago ArcelorMittal already announced the closure of it’s coking plant in Seraing within the next two weeks. The attempt to sell the site (built in 1957) to the U.S.-based Oxbow company had failed.
The Florida, USA based Oxbow mining group is rumored to take over the ArcelorMittal coking plant in Seraing, Belgium before long.
The plant was built in 1957 and includes four coke oven batteries.
Today the ArcelorMittal steel company announced the closure of the majority of it’s remaining steel production sites in the Meuse valley near Liege, Belgium.
About 1300 of the remaining 2100 steel workers in the valley will loose their jobs.
Apart from the hot strip mill and the coking plant a cold rolling mill and two galvanisation lines will be closed for good.
The liquid phase steel production was already closed in October 2011.
The Meuse valley around Liege is one of the cradles of the European industrialisation.