The company takes the path of producing environmentally friendly steel
The Czech steel company Liberty Ostrava, a subsidiary of the British Liberty Steel, began the process of shutting down one of the three coke oven batteries VKB №11 on September 19, 2023. This is stated in the press release.
The company perceives this event as an important step towards the transition to environmentally friendly steel production. The unit was inefficient and became increasingly unprofitable due to excess production capacity in the market.
The shutdown process will continue for several more months. All employees of the division were offered work at other plant facilities.
“The green future of our plant is a very important point. At the same time, the shutdown of the coke oven battery is a sad event, since the team that maintained the unit was the heart of the plant for more than 50 years. I am pleased that some employees will move to other divisions where there is a shortage of labor, including the expanding pipe plant,” comments the CEO of Liberty Ostrava Pavel Shedivy.
According to him, the closure of VKB coke battery №11 will not affect the operation of blast furnace №2.
Over the next eight years, Liberty Steel Group plans to invest CZK 8.6 billion in the decarbonization of Liberty Ostrava. A key element in achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 will be the replacement of the existing four blast furnaces with two hybrid electric furnaces, as well as the construction of a new ZVN line.
“In collaboration with the government and our unions, we are working on a plan to transition and retrain employees to new low-carbon technologies, and we will do everything we can to maintain the highest possible employment,” summarizes Pavel Shedivy.
Coke oven battery №11 was launched in 1981, and construction of the unit began in 1974. During the period 1996-1998 the battery has undergone extensive modernization, which has reduced emissions figures.
As GMK Center reported earlier, Liberty Steel suspended production at the Hungarian steel mill Dunaferr for three months. The reason for the shutdown was low steel prices and the general unfavorable situation on the market. The work of the coke-chemical department is reduced to a minimum.
LIBERTY Ostrava is an integrated steel plant with an annual production capacity of about 3.6 million tons. The company primarily serves the construction, engineering and oil and gas industries. The company is a leader in the production of road barriers and pipes on the Czech market. In addition to the domestic market, it supplies its products to more than 40 countries around the world.