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  #221  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2013, 3:24 PM
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Great for the environment but bad for jobs. I remember when Paul Martin was PM he was going to give Stelco money to convert to Natural gas but when Harper became PM he cancelled the funding.

U.S. Steel: Natural gas process will soon replace coke

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/41...-replace-coke/

Coke will become all but obsolete in most steelmaking in about a decade, say some industry experts.

Technology both gaining ground and still in development will largely remove the need for the coal-based fuel in making high-quality steel, they say.

That is important in the wake of U.S. Steel's decision last week to end steel and iron making in Hamilton because the plant and 828 jobs will now hinge on coke-making, rolling, galvanizing and other finishing operations.

United Steelworkers says roughly 120 jobs are directly linked to coke-making in Hamilton.
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  #222  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2013, 3:46 PM
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Wonderful news, maybe our cancer rates will deminish. Cokes plants pollute like crazy.
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  #223  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2013, 7:52 PM
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That change in technology would likely spell the end of coke making here, and the end of one major source of air, land, and water pollution.

Keeping the rolling/finishing work here may still make sense, so long as the transportation costs of bringing steel here and shipping product to customers make it feasible. But if those things can be done at other plants while saving the costs of shipping the steel to Hamilton for finishing that may be it for their Hamilton operation.
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  #224  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2013, 12:59 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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The switch to natural gas is being planned for USS's Hamilton mills. Coke making is not going to disappear here in Hamilton.
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  #225  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2013, 5:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbarbera View Post
The switch to natural gas is being planned for USS's Hamilton mills. Coke making is not going to disappear here in Hamilton.
I thought the article was talking about the potential for natural gas replacing coke in the steel making process - "A process called direct reduced iron uses natural gas to concentrate iron ore into pellets within a furnace that requires less, or in some cases, no coke, says steel expert Peter Warrian of the University of Toronto."

Since there's no more steel making by USS in Hamilton, why would there be a switch to this process? Are they still going to be using coke in some way in the remaining plants, and that will get switched over?

The story goes on to say that coke-making is still important, so it could certainly be a long time before it's gone here, depending on USS's needs.

EDIT: I'm honestly trying to understand the details a bit better. I know very little about the actual process of making steel.

Last edited by ScreamingViking; Nov 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM.
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  #226  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2013, 6:45 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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As an outsider, I've been following this with some interest. With Stelco 'leaving' - what happens to the industrial land they own? Will it be cleaned up and reused?
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  #227  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2013, 10:28 PM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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Harbourtropolis?
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  #228  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2013, 6:47 AM
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
As an outsider, I've been following this with some interest. With Stelco 'leaving' - what happens to the industrial land they own? Will it be cleaned up and reused?
The city and port authority will be talking more seriously about it now, but U.S. Steel still owns the land. Hopefully USS will make a decision that lets the city move forward.

This has been an issue with other large plots of brownfield land down in that area. Many are empty and unused, but unless the owner wants to sell, the city's limited in what it can do... or at least they haven't been very forceful in trying - using levers like property tax rates or grant/loan programs to encourage productive uses. It's somewhat similar to the issue with all the parking lots downtown, though in this case some properties owned by the likes of USS and AM-Dofasco are dormant weed patches.
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  #229  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2013, 6:53 AM
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There's an interesting tidbit in this story about the city working to protect pensions

City’s steel committee makes protecting pensions a priority
...
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Hamilton Harbour Commission (now the Hamilton Port Authority) allowed water lots to be filled in "under very cloudy circumstances" and steel companies to take title of the land, Mayor Bob Bratina said.

"So I think we have to determine who has title to those lots and whether we can use that as a lever to make sure whether the city benefits from whatever decisions that are made."



In the story, they're talking about trying to get access to a confidential 2011 settlement between USS and the feds. Could it present other opportunities for working out a land deal with USS?

Whether there's any documentation about the water lots after more than half a century is probably doubtful.

The scary thought that nobody talks about much - what might be lying amid the material that was used as landfill.
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  #230  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2013, 11:28 AM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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he

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScreamingViking View Post
In the story, they're talking about trying to get access to a confidential 2011 settlement...

Whether there's any documentation about the water lots after more than half a century is probably doubtful.

The scary thought that nobody talks about much - what might be lying amid the material that was used as landfill.
Most of what's north of Burlington Street was once wetland, inlets or water. Over the last century, something like 25% to 30% of the Harbour has been filled in by industrial demand (or, in the case of Bayfront Park, landfill).

The multitude of tenant businesses and lax environmental standards makes definitive assignment of responsibility a considerable challenge, if it's even possible. Randle Reef remediation is a case in point.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Nov 8, 2013 at 11:44 AM.
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  #231  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2013, 2:19 AM
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Yeah, I know it's cynical - or perhaps just realistic - but that land will never be reused for anything other than heavy industry. It's toxic and would cost billions and billions to remediate. It's a nice thought, though.
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  #232  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2013, 2:55 AM
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Even if another heavy industry replaces Stelco the land will still have to be remediated. The grounds probably so contaminated if they drilled down the ground it'll probably light a spark.
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  #233  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2013, 5:24 AM
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^Perhaps nature will reclaim some of what was taken from it. And at least we'll have cleaner air.

Total bummer...
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  #234  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2013, 2:06 PM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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Not every square foot down there is going to be heavy metal. A lot of area would have been covered with parking lots, warehouses, storage yards etc... At any rate, we can't afford to simply write off these giant tracts of land as unusable...
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  #235  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2013, 3:02 PM
Beedok Beedok is offline
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Being able to afford to and having to are two different things. The US has whole towns abandoned due to contamination. Maybe after 50 years of being more or less abandoned it will get reclaimed like Lebreton Flats in Ottawa?
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  #236  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2013, 2:19 AM
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^All true.

However, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Federal monies are a little easier to come by in the National Capital Region. That said, I do believe it took decades to actually get the Flats cleaned and prepped for development.
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  #237  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2013, 3:37 AM
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Federal funds might be easier to get, but the flats were also trapped by all three levels of government owning bits and pieces of it (if I remember correctly). I'm guessing Hamilton would have less of that issue.
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  #238  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2013, 8:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coalminecanary View Post
Not every square foot down there is going to be heavy metal. A lot of area would have been covered with parking lots, warehouses, storage yards etc... At any rate, we can't afford to simply write off these giant tracts of land as unusable...
I think this will be more the case. Certain areas will require massive remediation, but others much less. There would probably be soil removal of the worst spots with incineration of things like PCBs. Not sure if they would be able to put new buildings up in those areas without greater cleanup effort, or whether they'd just cap and pave them over to be preserved for surface uses.

We're talking about prime land within a busy port facility that has finite room to expand - basically some water lots are still being filled in at the eastern end, but USS has three large piers (16, 17, and 18). So if any of that pier space becomes available, there is a greater business case to do something. And land close to Burlington Street would be attractive as well.

It would still likely take a long time and a lot of money, requiring federal and provincial funding. Some Spec articles have noted it's 329 hectares in area and that's a huge chunk of real estate (I've also seen 445 ha - maybe that's the total and the 329 is just the parts being shut down?).

There must be case studies in Pittsburgh and other US cities we can compare to, but in Canada the cleanup in Sydney, NS is supposed to cost $400 million and take 10 years, and that site is not even one-third the size. We don't have "tar ponds" to deal with (though I guess Randle Reef is our equivalent) and the industrial history isn't quite the same, but I'd think there will be similar remediation issues in Hamilton.

Last edited by ScreamingViking; Nov 12, 2013 at 8:20 AM.
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  #239  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2013, 8:09 AM
bigguy1231 bigguy1231 is offline
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You are all assuming that US Steel is going to sell the land. The only thing that is shutting down is steel production all other operations will continue. Who knows they may even expand the rolling operations in the future.
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  #240  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2013, 8:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
You are all assuming that US Steel is going to sell the land. The only thing that is shutting down is steel production all other operations will continue. Who knows they may even expand the rolling operations in the future.
They very well may not want to sell.

I can't see them keeping it all though - a company that is losing money, that may not want to continue paying property tax on that land and may be able to make a case that they're not responsible for what was done on it years prior, might just want to cash in.
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