According to the Hamilton Spectator Hamilton coke ovens, which have been in "hot-idle" since the end of October, will soon be producing again and that is great news for the 77 workers who will be brought back to work.
U.S. Steel Canada sought emergency court permission to fire up the oven Friday, saying it had a chance to sell coke from Hamilton to its American parent.
A decrease in demand was the reason given to wind down production at the Hamilton facility but other factors, such as years of lost revenue and the cost of fully funding it pension plans were also to blame. Court proceedings have been ongoing between US Steel and retirees about the pension shortfall and the company has been for sale for several months. News of the startup would be a positive step for a number of reasons, according to company lawyer Paul Streep. "This is a positive for a bunch of reasons. It will help the company's cash flow, it will bring workers back and having it operating will make a sale easier," explained the Toronto lawyer.
A company spokesman added, "A conversion arrangement that keeps the HW Coke Plant in operation is expected to enhance any sale process by providing demonstrated operating performance and skilled and experienced staff, eliminating start-up costs and potentially, if desired by a buyer, providing existing customers for the coke output."