HomeNewsHCC’s coke oven battery back on stream

HCC’s coke oven battery back on stream


Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), Zimbabwe’s sole coal miner, which is experiencing rising coke demand from regional industries, last Friday commissioned the 32-oven coke battery that recently underwent corrective maintenance at an estimated cost of $4 million.
The coke oven battery has been under corrective maintenance since March, affecting the operations of downstream industries in foundry business and steel fabrication. A team of experts from the United Kingdom and South Africa gave the oven battery another operational life of between five to 10 years. “Production of coke is scheduled to resume by the middle of next month when a total of 23 ovens will be fully operational, producing an average of 9 000 tonnes of coke per month,” Burzil Dube, HCC public relations manager, said in an interview yesterday.
Dube said HCC would also rebuild all the ovens still off-line.
“Raising of temperature to above 1 000°C, which takes an average of 20 days inclusive of systematic ceramic welding, will commence early next week,” he said. He added that HCC has had to enter into a deal with repairing companies because of the company’s poor financial position at present. Under the deal, the coal extractor would foot the bill of rebuilding the ovens when production resumes.
Coke is a solid carbonaceous residue derived from low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal from which the volatile constituents are driven off by baking in an oven without oxygen at temperatures as high as 1 000°C.
The chemical reaction fuses the fixed carbon and residual ash together into coke. HCCL is also into coal-bed methane gas production and investigative work is in progress.
It is currently exploring ways of expanding its diverse business operations. The colliery owns 25% of Hwange Coal Gasification Company under a build operate and transfer arrangement.

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