The Current Decade
The 45th anniversary of CCRA’s creation was celebrated in 2010. CCRA continued to advocate for an energy recovery pilot coke oven by meeting with the Minister of NRCan in December of that year. Shortly thereafter, a new Minister of NRCan was appointed and the letter authorizing the initiative was delayed. Work on the project however continued and an engineering study to develop a proposal and cost for the pilot facility was initiated. In 2010-2011, the Association started on a very ambitious project to carry out engineering, design, construction and commissioning of an Energy Recovery Pilot Coke Oven (ERCO) at Bells Corners. The ERCO technology is an alternate approach to traditional slot coke oven and pilot facilities using ERCO technology are essentially non-existant, so R&D cannot be carried out. CCRA’s goal for this project was to put Canada at the leading edge of this technology by having a facility where its members are able to investigate how coal behaves in this type of oven and determine information needed to allow the Canadian steel industry to evaluate this technology for controling emissions and coke product quality. This facility would also be used to showcase the cokemaking merits of Western Canadian coals using this technology globally.
The initial projected budget forecast for the ERCO facility was approximately $1 million. It was hoped that funding would come from a variety of sources: Industry, Federal and Provincial governments and power generation firms as a feature of this technology is co-generation.
The 2011–2012 fiscal year produced an increase in CCRA members as US Steel Canada, SunCoke Energy, Inc. joined. Grande Cache Coal Corp., Alberta also rejoined the Association after being absent for some years.
CCRA signed a contract with Hatch Engineering, Mississauga, Ontario to undertake the preliminary design of a pilot scale Energy Recovery Coke Oven with the final report due in the summer of 2012. Funds for this project were raised by some of the CCRA members contributing to a fund for this specific purpose. CCRA also signed a Non Repayable Contribution Agreement with Natural Resources Canada to assist with the costs. The Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) also contributed to the project. The goal was to secure the funding to enable beginning the construction of the facility during fiscal year 2012-13.
It was decided at the time that the new pilot ERCO would be located at Bells Corners CanmetENERGY facility along with the other coking facilities. In 2011-12, SunCoke ENERGY was invited to join CCRA as a strategic partner in developing the energy recovery cokemaking technology as they have owned and operated commercial ovens using this technology for many years.
With the design of the pilot ERCO completed, planning on the location and support facilities were undertaken with one of the existing movable wall ovens (Carbolite) relocated to facilitate the required laboratory space for construction of the ERCO.
The construction of the ERCO started in 2013 and the first heat up was done in the fall of 2017.
During the 2013/2014 fiscal year, CCRA was obligated to transition from its original “letters patent” legal structure to comply with the requirements of the new “Not-for-Profit” Corporations Act. As of January 1, 2013 CCRA received it’s “Certificate of Continuance” as Corporation Number 117455-0 Industry Canada.
CCRA celebrated its 50th year milestone of providing research support to the Coal and Carbonization industries on September 2, 2015.