An integrated steel mill without tracks

was built between 1962 and 1965 by the Tunisian government on the Mediterranean coast near Bizerta.
To be able to build the plant as compact and inexpensive as possible, rail transport within the factory was to be avoided, the plant also had no external rail connection.
This was probably a worldwide unique concept for an integrated steel mill.
With a capacity of only 70,000 t/y, the plant should be able to cover the entire demand for wire and rod in Tunisia.
An international consortium carried out the plant construction.
The blast furnaces and sinter plant were supplied by Ashmore, Benson Pease & Co. from the UK, the meltshop by Ateliers et Forges de la Loire from France and the rolling mill was built by Morgardshammers from Sweden.
In 1965 the plant consisted of a single strand sinter plant with a capacity of 500 t/d, a blast furnace with a hearth diameter of 4.0 metres and a daily production of 300 tonnes.
The BOF plant was equipped with two 12-ton LD-converters, in my opinion the smallest commercially used units of this type worldwide.
Ore was mainly sourced from Tunisia and in part from overseas, coke came from Germany and the Netherlands.
The rolling mill consisted of a 10-stand light sections unit and a downstream 8-stand wire and rod mill.
In 1977s an electric arc furnace was installed in Elfouladh to increase the capacity of the mill to 100.000 t/y. 70 percent of the consumed iron ore came from Tunisia’s only iron ore mine 200 km southwest of Elfouladh.
The blast furnace was shut down in summer 2003 and in 2007 a second EAF was started up.


Die Berge Stahl

30 Jahre lang trug der einstmals größte Massengutfrachter der Welt entscheidend zur Erzversorgung der deutschen Stahlindustrie bei.
Das 1986 in Südkorea gebaute Schiff wurde zunächst von Thyssen, Mannesmann, Hoesch und Krupp gemeinsam gechartert und konnte voll beladen, mit 364.000 t Erz, nur drei Häfen weltweit (je einen in Brasilien und Südafrika und als Zielhafen Rotterdam) anlaufen. 2016 kündigte ThyssenKrupp den Vertrag mit dem norwegischen Reeder. Seit 2011 werden noch größere, 400.000 tdw, Schiffe auf der Atlantikroute eingesetzt.

Die 342 Meter lange Berge Stahl verkehrt heute überwiegend auf der Südhalbkugel.

Aviles Coking Plant shut down.


Already on 30 September 2019, ArcelorMittal shut down the last two (3&4) of eight batteries  at it’s Aviles coking plant in Spain.
The coking plant had been built from 1951 onwards as part of an economic programme; Franco’s dream of an industrialized Spain.
With it’s closure, the last major unit of the once state-owned steel group ENSIDESA will disappear.
The plant had 8 batteries of 30 ovens each and was planned and built by Didier-KOGAG-Hinselmann, an engineering company from Essen. It supplied coke to the finally four blast furnaces in Aviles (which have since been demolished).
In 1973, the state-owned ENSIDESA took over the neighbouring private steelworks UNINSA in Gijon. The coking plant there is also currently shut down, so that the last active blast furnace (furnace A) in Spain has to be supplied with imported coke. It is therefore questionable whether and when blast furnace B will be restarted.

Store Steel

The steel works in Store, Slovenia were founded in 1851.In 1875 the mill became part of the Berg- und Hüttenwerk Store and mostly produced casted and forged materials.In 1912 an open hearth steel making shop was installed. In the early 1970ies a new steel mill (60 ton electric arc furnace) and a bar rolling mill where built nearby called Store II. In 1978 open hearth steel making was closed down. In the 1990ies the company was privatized and got it’s new name Store Steel  in 2003.
Main product are steel bars for the automotive industry.
Images on my website now.

DMKD, Ukraine

DMKD, Ukraine
The steel plant in Dneprodzerzhinsk was founded in 1887 on the banks of Ukraine’s largest river the
Dnepr supplied with coal from the Donezk bassin and iron ore from Krivoy Rog. The mill was nationalized in 1917 and named after Feliks Dzierżyński (Revolutionary and founder of the Sowjet secret police) in 1925.
Today the plant is privatized and runs four blast furnaces (No. 1/8/9/12) a BOF shop including two 250 ton top blown vessels. Two continuous casters and several rolling mills for railroad axles, rails, billets, tube blanks, medium sections and sheet pile.
Images now at Stahlseite.
DMKD Blast Furnaces

Stahl Gerlafingen

The old Von Roll site in Gerlafingen is the only carbon steel producer in Switzerland (the only other steel mill is Swiss Steel, producing speciality steels). Images now at Stahlseite.

The steel mill in Gerlafingen was founded in 1818 by Ludwig von Roll & Cie one of the oldest industrial enterprises in Switzerland. The company changed it’s name in 1823 and was now called Ludwig von Roll’sche Eisenwerke, a name they kept until the early 1960ies.The first Swiss rolling mill was installed in Gerlafingen in 1836 the second followed ten years later. Iron was produced from local ore deposits in a blast furnace in nearby Choindez.
Most raw materials for the rolling mill in Gerlafingen came from abroad though. After this supply become increasingly difficult during the first world war an open hearth melt shop was installed in 1918 and closed down in 1921. Steel was produced from now on in electric arc furnaces only. The top charging system for EAFs, now a worldwide standard, was invented here in the 1920ies.
From 1962 on the company called itself Von Roll AG.
After years of  financial trouble the Von Roll AG sold it’s steel making branch to it’s competitor the Von Moss AG to form the new Swiss Steel company.
Swiss Steel was taken over by Schmolz & Bickenbach from Germany in 2003.
S&B sold the Gerlafingen works to the Italian Beltrame group in 2006 to focus it’s activities on speciality steel making. Stahl Gerlafingen today runs a 70 ton electric arc furnace with a scrap preheating shaft, a continuous caster and two rolling mills (rod and wire). Main products are reinforced and structural steels.