The takeover of the key components of Zisco by ZimCoke would have the following implications.
Coke batteries, by-products plant
and associated machines
Coke produced from coke oven batteries is a source of heat energy and carbon monoxide reductant for the smelting of iron ore. Coke oven gas used as energy source in the production of hot metal is a by-product of the coke making process.
The blast furnace requires a continuous supply of coke during its operational life. Coke oven gas is used to dry hot metal and steel ladles and is also used in production of sinter.
When mixed with blast furnace gas it is used to heat blast furnace stoves and rolling mills reheating furnaces. It is difficult to separate the coke ovens from the blast furnaces as there are utilities that criss-cross the plant and are common to both plants. There are also underground cables and water pipes all over the plant.
Steel-making in an integrated plant like the one at ZISCO is heavily dependent on the efficient coordination and operation of the coke oven batteries and the blast furnaces.
Without the coke oven batteries, ZISCO ceases to be an integrated steel-making plant and as such will not function. When one takes away coke and coke oven gas from the blast furnace it can be likened to removing a heart from a person and expecting him to live.
Coal handling facility and rail lines
Coal is charged into the coke oven batteries to produce coke for the blast furnace, sinter plant and lime kiln as well as producing coke oven gas for the whole plant. Coal handling and iron ore handling plant is a single entity with common power supply system that comes from the ZISCO main substation, with criss-crossing conveyor system, which is very difficult to entangle. The criticality of coke oven batteries to the blast furnace also hold for the coal handling facility.
Conveyor from coal handling
plant to the coke ovens
This shares power supply and structures with the iron ore conveyor to the blast furnace and thus cannot be isolated.
Coke ovens gas and blast furnace gas are mixed to get the required calorific value for heating Blast Furnace Hot Stoves and Rolling Mills Reheating Furnaces. The blast furnace gas holder is an extension of the blast furnace and it will always be required to hold blast furnace gas for distribution to other plants of the ZISCO’s steelworks. The blast furnace gas holder, logically goes with the blast furnaces.
P & D Offices (renamed Revival
Centre by ESSAR) with contents
The P & D building houses all technical drawings and technical manuals for the whole of the ZISCO plant.
There are a number of computers in the building with a wealth of ZISCO technical data.
Without the technical information it would be next to impossible to rehabilitate the ZISCO plant.
Any investor wishing to rehabilitate the plant has to have access to the original technical information. The coke batteries information in the P and D building is only a very small fraction of the ZISCO information. There is therefore no plausible reason for ZimCoke to take possession of the P and D building and total contents.
Refractory stores and contents
Refractory stores in normal operations of ZISCO, house all refractories for ZISCO plants, mainly steel plant, blast furnaces, rolling mills and coke ovens. The majority of refractories are not for use in the coke plant hence, it is not necessary for ZimCoke to take the refractory store and contents.
Roll design and contents
The contents in this building are mechanical spare parts for blast furnace 4 together with refractories for blast furnace 4 reline and have nothing to do with coke batteries of ZimCoke. There is no connection between this building and coke batteries.
Coke and coke breeze storage area
This is essential for ZISCO to store coke and coke breeze for operations.
Slag and skulls dumps
with land and contents
Slag is a by-product of iron making (liquid iron/hot metal production) process at the blast furnace and skulls are generated during iron making and steel making processes. The two slag and skulls have no bearing or relationship to coke batteries.
During steel manufacturing large volumes of waste are generated and are disposed of in some area and this area happens to be the dumps referred to here and the land thereof. These dumps have to remain with ZISCO if the company is to be resuscitated.