Réhon’s Converter Zoo

Cockerill’s construction of a new melt shop in Réhon, France in 1978 was the last major investment into the dying steel basin of Longwy.
The two O.B.M. converters (Oxygen Bodenblasen Maxhütte) were installed in the relocated halls of the former Thomas steelworks in Ougree, Belgium, closed down in 1975.
Between June and October 1979 Cockerill now operated a real converter zoo in Réhon.
Consisting of:
Two new 80 t O.B.M converters.
Two old 26 t former Thomas converters which were converted to O.B.M. in 1973.
Three 23 t Thomas converters from 1953
and a 36 t O.L.P. (Oxygen Lance Poudre) converter from 1963.
There was also an electric steel plant.
Since the LD process, which was successfully used worldwide, could not be applied due to the high-phosphor domestic ores, numerous new steel production processes were introduced in Lorraine.
None of them was very sustainable.
The Thomas converters were shut down in October 1979, the old O.B.M. converters and the O.L.P. steelworks one year later.
On 30.7.1987, after only 8 years of operation, the new O.B.M. steel plant, now owned by USINOR, was shut down too. In 1980 a third converter had been added.

The Thomas Steel Works in Liege-Ougree

 Thomas Steel mill Cockerill-Ougree
With the construction of three new steelworks at the end of the 1950s, the Thomas steel making process (Basic-Bessemer) experienced its technical peak and a final blossoming.
Between May 1958 and August 1959, HADIR in Differdange, Phoenix Rheinrohr in Duisburg and Cockerill-Ougree in Liege commissioned a total of 13 converters with tapping weights between 50 and 70 tons.
All of them had been planned and built by DEMAG in Duisburg.
Plan Thomas Steel Plant Cockerill Ougree
The Thomas steel plant in Liege-Ougree, with its futuristic façade at that time,
will remain the last new construction of its kind in the western world.
Five 56 t Thomas converters and two 1500 t hot metal mixers were put into operation on 4 August 1959 and were supplemented by a 60 t LD-AC converter in 1962.
In December 1975 the Thomas steel works in Liege were shut down.
5 years later the use of the basic bessemer process in the western hemisphere was finally terminated.
Acierie Cockerill Ougree