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Report from the 38th International Cokemaking Conference in Ostrava

Report from the 38th International Cokemaking Conference in Ostrava

38th International Cokemaking conference,
Ostrava, Czech Republic 10th – 11th Oct 2023


Michael and Tom visit the 38th coke making conference in Ostrava, Czech Republic from 10th – 11th of October 2023.

It fits into the IBTC concept of exploring more “coal events” and get contacts to relevant market players in this industry. As you know with Tecnored we have the first company from metallurgical sector as member in the IBTC.
The event was small to medium size with approx. 100 attendees, almost all researchers, technical staff or operational people from the cokeing industry. (List of attendees is attached)
Ostrava is a region in Europe which was famous for coal and coke making. Lots of the capacities are shutted down already or will get shut down in the next years. One speaker reported about a huge coke making batterie which was shutted down end of August 2023.
Most of the capacities are moving to Southeast Asia specially China and India.
Many of attendees representing EU heavy industry companies, are afraid that the ETS system could be responsible for a total collapse of heavy industries like steel production in the EU as they will not maintain cost competitiveness and green steel premiums may not persist. That may lead to them moving into legislations with a lower Carbon burden to carry. The Arabian Gulf, Asia (South East or China)

Because of this scenario, the representatives of EU heavy industry did show a lot of  interest in solutions for carbon removal and decarbonisation of their businesses. The process is politically driven but the need is big and urgent. ETS will really “hit” the big players in EU in the coming years.
Biocarbon could become a short-term solution to replace medium ratios in this sector.
The demand is huge and the will to explore new solutions is definitely there.

The event we had visit, was focusing on coke making industry. To replace relevant ratios of cokeing coal with biocarbon is definitely a high hanging fruit. We were learning about CRI (Coke reactivity Index) and CSR (Coke Strength after Reaction) both influenced very negatively by the addition of biocarbon to the coke. Biocoal might not pass the TS600 test on tumbling strength, at least according to results presented by SINTEF. Nevertheless, there is not only the huge blast furnace coke that can be replaced, especially in smaller furnaces Biocoal may have its benefits without negative impact on the process. The very interesting presentation by SINTEF will be shared.

Aside of presenting where the biocarbon sector is standing currently we wanted to send a clear message that we are interested in joint development and would like to take up all initiatives of the coking industry and form joint initiatives to actively reduce CO2 emissions through the use of biocarbon.

We felt that there is very big interest under researchers, analysts and also the technical specialists from the industry.

Concrete outcome for the IBTC is the envisaged site visit at ThyssenKrupp coke-making plant Schwelgern on 6th of December 2023.
The Schwelgern plant is one of the biggest and most efficient coke-making plants on the planet and is running for more then 20 years with constant capacity of 93%.
After the site visit, we will organise a round table with a group of experts from ThyssenKrupp to explore synergies on the route to decarbonise the steel industry.

Shaping the Future of
Renewable Carbon. Together.