Ahead of her presentation at the much-anticipated Eurocoke Summit 2017, we spoke with Hyun Ju Jeong, Manager at Pohang Works at POSCO about insights into coke making operations, the latest technological developments, reducing production costs, challenges faced at coke plants and much more.
You are going to be sharing some insights into coke making operation and technology development – can you give us a bit of information about what areas you will cover?
POSCO started producing coke in 1973 and now has 2 main coke making works, Pohang and Gwangyang. From then to now, we have installed the required facilities and made better production conditions.
In 2016, POSCO produced 11.2 mt lump coke using 17.4 mt coal, but because of serious cost competition in the global steel market and limited resources, POSCO has had to reduce production cost. The main activity is to reduce gas consumption when heating up the coke oven by improving heat efficiency.
In the past, we have managed overall temperature in each combustion chamber in the coke oven. Generally, the end flue temperature became too low so we had to put more calories in to increase the end flue temperature. So we had a problem where the mid-flue is high. To solve this situation, we developed a monitoring system to manage each flue temperature and to control each flue.
We also improved the ventilation of coke ovens in the summer seasons to optimise combustion conditions, for example reversing time, gas ratio and flow rate.
How are you working to reduce production costs at your plant to better compete in today’s steel market?
First of all, in 2016, POSCO used more semi coking coal that is cheaper than other coal using a 50% blending ratio. To increase the blending ratio of semi coking coal, we had to develop technology for coal crushing, coal blending and coke oven heat control. Particularly, we are managing the coal size of hard coking coal and semi coking coal individually and each crushing for good blending.
Secondly, we are running facilities such as coke ovens and emission control systems reasonably.
In the past, we used ECS(Emission Control System) to catch dust in the coke making process, working in high loading 24hr. However, we changed the loading depending on patterns like the pushing and charging schedule so we could reduce energy costs.
What technological developments do you feel would be effective and economical to answer some of the current challenges being faced in coke plants?
I think it is important to collect by-product material energy like coke oven gas, CDQ steam and electricity to reduce manufacturing cost. POSCO has made efforts to improve efficiency of Coke Dry Quenching compared to last year. We have burnt more combustible gas and used the CO increasing air flow rate to increase high pressure steam. Also we have managed the quality of pure water in a boiler tube to improve efficiency of heat transfer. In the future, energy will be the most important item in coke making plants and steel making plants.
What are you most looking forward to at Eurocoke Summit 2017?
I'm looking forward to hearing about the development of the situation in coke making plants. Especially, global coal market conditions and steel market conditions. I have heard many professionals in coal marketing and experts in other famous steel making company will be there.
I want to know trends of coal prices in the future and share know-how in the coke making process, especially how to make high quality coke at a low cost.
Additionally, I hope to apply brand new technology I discover at the Eurocoke Summit to our plant.
Why do you feel it’s important to be part of Eurocoke Summit 2017?
POSCO is a very famous steel making company in Asia so people related to steel might want to know POSCO's future like capacity and future cost.
As much as I can, I want to share insights about our operations and furthermore I want to know how to better improve.
Hyun Ju Jeong will be presenting on 'POSCO way of coke making operation and technology development through reduced production costs' on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at the Eurocoke Summit.
Book your ticket to join her and representatives from ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, Steel Institute VDeh, US Steel, Siemens Turbomachinery, Bettercoal, Eurofer, Blackrock Energy, CRU, DMT and more now. The standard rate of just €1,099 for a 2-day conference ticket is in place until 13 April 2017.
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