Expanding Activities in the 1970’s
In 1970, J. Ludberg of Dofasco became Chairman of the Board. W. Gardner joined the research staff at CANMET and was charged with getting the new 18 inch oven operational, relocating the 12 inch oven to Bells Corners and redesigning the BM/AGA oven. The coal preparation plant from Booth Street was moved to Clover Bar in Western Canada. Research work was managed by J.C. Botham under the direction of the Technical Committee and centered on coal pipelining, additives to coking charges, hot briquetting, form coking and petrographic methods for all coals.
Arrangements were made to establish a coking facility at Clover Bar to accommodate the western Canadian Coal producers. Algoma arranged to donate their Koppers pilot coke oven with alumina refractory. A mini fluidized bed was constructed for heating coal for hot briquetting as part of the form coke project. By 1974, this facility was operational. EMR hired Dr. J. Gransden and Dr. J. Price who became the backbone of the Technical program and have gained international recognition as carbonization scientists.
In the early 1970’s a major concern of the CCRA research was reliability of petrography to predict the coking quality of Western Canadian coal and considerable work was done to address the issue of reactive semi-fusinite in coal. When the “energy crisis” developed in 1973/74 concern about energy self-sufficiency came to the forefront. A considerable amount of research was done to determine if Western Canadian coal blends could make satisfactory coke for Blast Furnace operations. This crisis also resulted in a number of oil companies getting involved in the coal mining business and Shell Canada, Esso Resources, BP Canada and Gulf Canada became CCRA members.
The organization underwent a substantial change in 1975 when the movable wall coke oven crew, which had grown to six, switched from being CCRA employees to becoming EMR term employees, to conform with Government policy. CCRA established a new Treasurer system to handle the organization’s financial affairs and research funding. This change resulted in the Treasurer’s position becoming an appointed officer with full financial authority for the Association. Mr. G.A. Chapman was appointed Treasurer and has held that Office since that time.