UC coke production is now back at pre-recession levels, an analyst told the Eurocoke Summit 2011.

Jim Truman, of US group Wood Mackenzie, told the IntertechPira-organised conference in Vienna, Austria that total production was back to about 15Mt/y. Imports accounted for about 3Mt, while exports are about 1.4Mt, which go to Canada and Mexico.

Key activities at US coke plants have been the building of new coke ovens at several sites. US Steel is to introduce a new C battery at its Clairton plant in 2013 which will have a 960kt/y capacity. Batteries 7, 8 and 9 were closed in April 2009 while batteries 19 and 20 are being repaired. Batteries 1, 2 and 3 are in compliance.

Meanwhile SunCoke has been successful in placing new builds and has seen its capacity grow from 1.3 to 5.5Mt/y. Construction started at AK Steel’s Middleton site last August for 550kt/y capacity and has secured a 20-year supply contract.

AK has also agreed a 12-year-deal with SunCoke Haverhill plant which can take up to 550kt/y.

Arcelor Mittal is reopening its 500kt/y Warren plant, which it idled in 2008 due to the downturn, while Renco has bought Severstal’s key US operations.

The $1.2bn deal saw it buy three mills and other facilities. The mills are Sparrows Point, Severstal Warren and Severstal Wheeling and also includes a 50% interest in Mountain State Carbon (coke plant) and Ohio Coatings.

Severstal had bought the operations for $2.4bn in 2008 but sold them to Renco for $1.2bn in March this year.

For a detailed conference report please see the May/June issue of Steel Times International.