Usine Saint Jacques

Tata Rail

is the last rail mill in France.
The former Usine Saint Jacques in Hayange, France was founded by the De Wendel family in 1892. After the closure of the iron and steel production in 1972 the rail mill was outsourced by USINOR (successor of the De Wendel group) in 1994 now called Sogerail and owned by Unimetal.
In 1999 the mill was sold to the British Steel company from the UK to become part of the new Corus Group the same year.
Since 2007 the rail mill in Hayange is called Tata Steel Rail and part of the Indian Tata group.
Rails up to 108 meters in length can be produced. Billets for the rolling mill come from Tata’s steel plant in Scunthorpe, England.
Further viewing.

Tata Hayange

Vintage Image #9

Aviles Blast Furnaces

Blast furnaces Carmen (named after Carmen Polo, Franco’s wife), Joaquina, Rosario and Carmen IV in Aviles, Spain. Later called blast furnaces 1-4.
The furnaces were built in between 1957 and 1969 by the public enterprise ENSIDESA (Empresa Nacional Siderúrgica Sociedad Anónima). Hearth diameter was 8,69-8,99 meter.
Furnace 1&2 were shut down in1989 and furnaces 3&4 in the mid 1990ies after the hot metal production was translocated to the newer furnaces in Gijon.
By 2001 all furnaces were dismantled.

Blast Furnaces Aceralia

Last Open Hearth Built In West Germany ?

Hoesch Siemens-Martin Stahlwerk

In between 1954 and 1962 the Hoesch company in Dortmund, Germany built it’s third open hearth melt shop (SM-Stahlwerk III).
Two 180 ton furnaces were installed by 1956, two DEMAG 210 ton furnaces were added in 1961 and 1962. These might have been the last to be commissioned in West Germany.
Monthly output was less than 100000 tons, not enough to compete with the new BOF shop in Dortmund Hörde built in 1963  producing more than 300000 t/m.
The open hearth shop 3 was closed in 1982.
Some images of it’s remains: Stahlseite.

Hoesch open hearth

 

Longwy

Longwy

In the 1960ies the small town of Longwy, France (pop. 60000) still housed more than 20 blast furnaces. A unique density.
The mills were running on local iron ores of a rather poor quality that became uneconomical in the 1970ies with high quality iron ore shipped into Europe from overseas.
35 years ago, after the announcment of La Chiers’ closure, Longwy’s steel workers started their long and exceptional violent struggle to keep their jobs.
Since the closure of Arcelor’s wire rolling mill in 1998 there is no more steel industry in town.
Jean-Marie Ottelé site: www.industrie.lu is a unique source of information about the Terre Rouge (Red Earth) steel industry.

Longwy Map

1: Cockerill-Ougrée-Providence
Founded: 1865.
Closed: 1987
2: Lorraine-Escaut

Founded 1835

Closed 1987
3: Hauts Fourneaux De La Chiers

Founded:  1881

Closed: 1979
4:
Aciéries de Longwy
Founded: 1880

Closed:  1978
5: Hauts-Fourneaux Réunis de Saulnes et
Uckange
Founded: 1872

Closed: 1991

Hauts Fourneaux De La Chiers

Hauts Fourneaux De La Chiers, 1950ies


The Last Open Hearth In The U.S.

Geneva Steel

© Chris Dunker (Dunker Imaging)

was closed down in December 1991 at Geneva Steel in Utah. The end of an era for a nation that, in 1970, still produced nearly 40% of it’s raw steel out of open hearth furnaces.
The Geneva OH-shop contained ten 340 ton furnaces first tapped in 1944 and upgraded in between 1957 and 1964.
They were replaced by two 225 ton Q-BOF vessels originally installed at Republic Steel’s (later LTV Steel) South Chicago works in 1977.
For an unknown reason the Geneva Steel company, the successor of U.S. Steel, left the open hearth shop standing until they  finally went  bancrupt in 2002 and the mill was dismantled in 2004.
Large portions of the mill (caster, plate and strip rolling mill) were sold to Chinese steel maker Qindago Steel.
In 2004 Chris Dunker was allowed to document the demolition of the mill with his camera.
Part of the work can be seen in his book: “Dismantling Geneva Steel”.