Steel News

Report: U. S. Steel Ready to Cool Three Coke Batteries

3/14/2023 - United States Steel Corporation will start winding down three Pennsylvania coke batteries later this month, following through on a promise it made two years ago. 

Citing a United Steelworkers union official, The (Monessen, Pa.) Mon Valley Independent newspaper said the steelmaker will begin shuttering the Nos. 1-3 batteries at its Clairton Coke Works on 27 March. 

U. S. Steel in 2021 said it would permanently close the batteries by early 2023 as part of an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. It disclosed its intention in announcing that it would set aside plans for a US$1.5 billion upgrade to the Mon Valley Works. 

“U. S. Steel is setting aside this project as we step forward to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. In this world — a world that still needs steel — we need to find aggressive decarbonization solutions. The project we had planned in 2019 would have decreased our carbon footprint, but we must now move farther and faster,” U. S. Steel president and chief executive David Burritt said at the time. 

U. S. Steel on Tuesday confirmed that it was about ready to idle the coke batteries, the oldest at the Clairton facility. It said it had alloted six days for the work, which is to conclude at month's end. 

"U. S. Steel employees and management will be working around the clock to safely carry out the procedures, which required significant training. The more than 100 employees working on the project prepared for over a year because of the complexity of the engineering work involved and U. S. Steel’s rigorous safety standards," the company said. 

The decision affects roughly 130 jobs, but U. S. Steel said no one is being laid off. The positions are being absorbed through attrition and reassignment, it said, but they will not be filled.