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.

Maxhütte OBM steel plant under demolition.

2001

Probably the last chance, after the demolition of the LD steel plant of Henrichshütte in Hattingen, to preserve a converter steel plant in Germany is wasted.
The OBM (Oxygen-Bodenblasen-Maxhütte) melt shop in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, built in 1974, with it’s three bottom blowing 65 t converters and the 1200 t hot metal mixer is under demoltion and will soon be gone:
VIDEO Bayrischer Rundfunk.

OBM-steel plant Marcinelle, Belgium, Feb.13th. 2019.


In 1973, after good results with the conversion of the old Thomas (basic Bessemer) plant at Monceau, Forges de Thy-Marcinelle et Monceau ordered a new OBM-steel making shop (Oxygen-Bodenblasen-Maxhütte) from a consortium  VÖEST-Alpine–GHH-Sterkrade.The 17500 m² melt shop went into production in April,1976 and included a 2000 t hot metal mixer and three 150 t OBM-converters with 18 tuyeries each.

It was closed down in 2008 and will soon be gone.