Report - Southbank Coke Ovens - Sept 2016

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jul 26, 2014
I was pleased to finally get around to visiting the coke ovens in Southbank even if a year late, much smaller then the main furnace site but definably worth a trip even if it is a bit bare on the inside now. I went during the day which I don't really like doing as it's not optimal, especially when I don't know much about the site in question but it worked out to be quite a chilled affair. Shots aren't the greatest as I'm currently lacking a tripod, that being said the daylight made for the opportunity to grab some good outside shots. This ones not too far from me so I might go back with a tripod get some better internals and cover some more of the site.


I'm sure you all know the history of the recent events affecting SSI and their 3 locations between Middlesborough and Redcar, However is a bit of copy and paste from

SBCO battery and by-products plant were originally built between 1953/56 and commissioned in 1957 however after 10 years of operation the batteries refractories were beyond repair due to poor operations. A new battery was commissioned in 1971 this battery ran in conjunction with the original 1957 By-products plant.

The coking process consists of heating coal in the absence of air in large coke oven batteries to drive off the volatile compounds; the resulting coke is a hard, but porous carbon material that is used for reducing the iron in the blast furnace. The By-product plant recovers volatile chemicals in the form of coke oven gas, tars, and oils.

The coke oven temperature is 1300 °C and the time it takes to turn coal into coke is known as the “Carb-time” which is usually about 19 hours. The coke is then pushed out of the oven with a machine known as “the pusher” and caught in a “coke car” which transports the hot coke to a quencher where it is cooled with water.

At its peak SBCO pushed 96 ovens per day 365 days a year, each push contained 19 tons of coke worth £3800. The price of coke constantly fluctuates just like currency.

SBCO employed 150 people.







Bonus points for spotting the hi vis in the below,




Looking towards the basic oxygen steelmaking plant.



The coke ovens itself,








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