Consolidation of the Coal Industry
The year 2000 saw another downturn in steel and coal industries with two of the three Canadian steel company members and one coal producer having to drop their CCRA memberships because of financial considerations.
At the end of 2006, Dr. Ross Leeder , the longest serving member of the Board retired. Ross had joined the Technical Committee in 1971 when he was a member of the CANMET staff at Bells Corners. He chaired the Technical Committee before moving to the Board of Directors. Ross became Chairman of the BOD in 1989-90 and again in 1999 to 2006. During the 35 years of his association with CCRA, Ross presented numerous papers on the industry.
In 2007, two new coal companies joined as Connected Members, Peace River Coal and Western Canadian Coal Corp and Dr. Barry Ryan joined as an Individual Connected Member representing the British Columbia Government.
In 2008, George Chapman celebrated his 30th anniversary as Treasurer of the Association. Peace River Coal became a full member of the Association and Essar Steel Algoma Inc. joined as a Connected Member. That same year, after a career spanning 35 years, Dr. John Price took retirement from his position as Senior Research Scientist and Manager of Energy for High Temperature Processes at CANMET.
In early 2009, Dr. John Gransden, also Senior Research Scientist in coal carbonization, retired from CANMET. The departure of Drs. Price and Gransden, both dedicated research scientists, represented a significant loss to the CCRA within a very short time period. CCRA thanked them for their valuable contributions to Carbonization in Canada and wished them all the best in their retirement. In the spring of 2009, the Algoma representative Bob Lamour retired after being a long-standing member on the Technical Committee and Board. Bob was replaced by Ms. Eila Kaukolin. Barry Ryan retired from the BC Government Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and, as there was no replacement named, the BC Government abandoned its membership.
During 2008 and 2009, the steel and coal industries were faced with difficult economic climate as the world economic downturn caused a dramatic reduction in steel demand which resulted in a drop in metallurgical coal requirements.
For several years prior to 2008-09, Greenhouse gases (GHG) became a major thrust of the joint R&D program and the research program reflected that reality.
In 2009, the Technical Committee and the Board of Directors spent a significant amount of time and effort gathering information on the development and financing of an Energy Recovery Pilot coke oven for the joint CCRA/CANMET program to examine this alternative/new cokemaking technology. The elevated cost for building such a facility led the CCRA to seek Government participation at both the Federal and Provincial levels and include other parties such as Ontario Hydro Generation as partners.