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Report - Redcar Steelworks, - Dawn Till Dusk

Joe.

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
Yes another Redcar post, I fear this place is going to dominate the exploring landscape for some time to come.... Its a site so large and so vast that it could be reported on hundreds of times before It bored me. Yet its not a place that can be visited without considering the price. Every post-closure photo I see reminds me of the immense cost of this explore, In economic, social and cost to our national pride it is immense.

The closure of Redcar makes me deeply sad, such places should not be closed so recklessly; they are vital for our industrial base, our future as a producing nation. I could talk with anger about government, ignorance, incompetence, Spineless pollitical cunts or the Chinese. But my words will not change the outcome. The fire and the fight are gone from Teeside, Redcar feels like a crimescene and we are witnesses.

The first post Dave made on Redcar last month covered our furnace visit, but that was always intended as a starting point... this thread is the follow up. The objective was to cover as much ground as we could. This time spending an entire day onsite. Dawn till dusk, or bust. I'll post up series of photos from that day. They are not neatly categorised but they are a record of our day on site.

The first stop was a revisit to the Blast furnace, Our route on site was different from that of the first trip, and quickly it became apparent that security was more active than it had been on our first trip, a van was on the move moments after we came on site. Had we been seen? A frantic climb saw us safely hidden in the cosseting safety of the furnace, I lost a hard hat during the climb but wasnt about to go back for it!

First stop was the Tapping floor where we had only spent a limited amount of time on our first Trip:

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Tapping Point,


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Heat Proof Overalls,

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Remoted Clay Gun / Tapping Controls,

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Tapping Arm,

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Tuyere Level,

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Cooling pipes,

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Taphouse Roof,

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Temperature Probe door;

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Old Temperature Probe;


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Furnace Top

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Furnace Gas holder, Cokeworks Gasholder and coke byproduct Recovery.

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At the top of the furnace we Tracked back through the feed converyor back into the rest of the works....

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Joe.

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#2
From the furnace we went into the Maze of Converyors, These go on for miles so it was actually pretty time consuming exploring all the possible options, Converors would merge, there were interchanges, Drop towers and bunkers. It reminded me of exploring Gascoine wood a few years ago.

We walked for miles and covered only a fraction of the full system, Our overall obejectives were to reach the Sinter works and the Redcar cokeworks both of which are connected directly to the Blast furnace.


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Bunker / Converyor interchange

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A look out at one of our Mornings objectives.

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What its all about Sintered pellets and Coke.

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Seemingly endless runs of Converyor,

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Dissapearing into the earth...

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The_Raw

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#4
That's ace mate and your write up is a good reminder of the serious implications of this place's closure for industry in the UK. Something I haven't even mentioned on my report
 
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ACID- REFLUX

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Top stuff no doubt about it, lovely pics :thumb

Sad state of affairs indeed, unfortunately it made no difference who was in power, even before the recent change.

I can concor about the increase in Secca activity over recent weeks both here & the South Bank Coke Ovens along with the additional lighting rigs! There"s obviously enough money somewhere to pay for these & also in keeping the lights on everywhere.
 

Joe.

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#6
Mid morning and we reach our first major objective: The Sinterworks. Sinter is the process of fusing Iron ore with other minerals at high temperature and is an essentaial preparatory part of the Iron making process.

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Hoppers & Collectors,


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Feed Conveyor;

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Circular Crusher

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Crane & the end of the furnace,

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Furnace,

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Another Gantry crane picture:

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Input:


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A few more frunace photos:

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Stripped out Control Room; Log books suggest the last producton was in September after that the entries run out...

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A few more sinter photos:


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Next Post will cover the main bunker & control room and a break for lunch....​
 

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Joe.

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#11
After the Sinterworks our energy levels were starting to crash, I'd driven though the night to get to Redcar and having got up at 5am the previous day for work the tiredness was starting to catch up with me. I'd had an hour or so of sleep in the car but this was starting to make itself felt. I think Dave was in a pretty similar state.

Lack of sleep was not the only concern we found ourselves a bit short on stuff to eat! Half a double decker and a packet of Frazzels hadn’t gone far and we had left the Tunnocks tea cakes in the car!

Despite this we were keen to push on towards the Redcar Cokeworks, this area of the site had been very active on our first visit but seemed a little quieter and we were keen to try and get into that part of the site.

We spent a bit of time messing about trying to find an easy link that would connect us to the raw coal feed to the Cokeworks. In the process we stumbled upon this Bunker area:

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It had this nicely dated control room:


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As it turned out it also had a Kitchen... Ideal place to stop to clean up and take a lunch break!


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The cutlery wasnt even made from British steel....

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I'll finish this post with a shot taken looking back at the Blast Furnace, Because Blast furnace.


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Next post will be the final instrallment....!​
 

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Dave W

Industrial Pornographer
Regular User
#13
The new PCI Plant, all £37 million of it. SSI pinned a lot of hopes on it - Pulverised Coal Injection was installed to replace the original heavy oil firing (the tanks for which you probably walked past on the way in)
PCI meant that they would need less coke so could stop imports and produce all they required from the two on-site coke-works. It also meant that they could use British Coal instead of australian/north american imports.
PCI is seen as an environmental benefit too as well as significantly increasing BF output but for SSI it was plagued with problems - the contractor even went bust during the building of it.

Like the Furnace Re-Line which was brought forward from 2017 and instead carried out before the re-start at an additional cost of £130m it was an extravagance that made sense to the long term viability of the site but severely overstretched SSI's debt position. The sad thing is that they did overcome all the odds and were producing more iron than British Steel managed on a good day when the furnace was only a couple of years old, add to that the fact they were producing it cheaper than any other producer in the western hemisphere!.
If not for the ridiculous debt burden and the fact that SSI UK was the collateral and guarantor for not only its own loans but also those of the parent company back in thailand things could have been very differant.

In short its one of the reasons they went so spectacularly bust, Will be sold pretty easily as a lift and shift I would imagine.
 
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Joe.

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#14
Right final post, I appreicate its been a bit of a long, photo heavy thread so cheers for following it this far. I hope you think It's been worthwhile. I did think twice about putting it up at all as there is now a bit of Redcar saturation going on.

I've got a fairly intense set of Lakenby photos but may hold off on posting them for a while.

Lunchbreak over and we had a few more hours of daylight left to push on into the Coke Works. The weather had been windy all day but the afternoon bought in showers of torrential rain. Some more time tracking back through conveyors and we found our way into the Coke out converyor system.

Cokeworks as seen from the Coke conveyor:

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Coke works output Conveyor, Furnace Gas holder in the Middle, Coke gasholder on the Left.

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Redcar's Twin Charging towers,

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Quenching Side of the Battery,

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Ovens

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Beehives

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Door repair workshop;

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Up on top of the Battery it became clear how suddenley and abruptly production had ceased. The bricks at the top of the battery had cracked as a result of rapid cooling and broken the top of the ovens open. I don't think I've got a photo that shows it sadly. but its a sight I've never before seen at a closed coke works.

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Larry car controls,

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Byproduct Recovery,

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Having climbed to the top of the charge bunkers and back down again the light was starting to fade. Just time for one more photo before we thinking about leaving....

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The day over and the light fading we began to retrace our steps to the exit on the way out we we had a close shave with a security picup on a patrol which turned off of a road just ahead and was coming straight for us. Sending us running through and overgrown section of pipes and tanks as we ran for cover. I don't think I stopped running until I reached the perimiter and our exit.

I think security has defiately been upped there are regular moving patrols, many ladderways and steps are being cut, and converyors are being steeled in.

Our weekend in Teeside wasnt finished yet... but first It was time for fish and chips and few hours sleep!
 

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