SunCoke Energy has a rich history in coal mining and cokemaking. Our past successes give us the confidence and determination to prosper and grow our company.
Starting in coal mining at our metallurgical coal mining operations, SunCoke Energy’s operations have grown over the years to include five coke plants in the Americas.
SunCoke Energy’s cokemaking process started when B. Ray Thompson built three test ovens in Vansant, Virginia in the early 1960’s. A four month test found that coke could be made from Virginia coal. Production was scaled up during the next ten years. In 1969, 450,000 tons of coke were produced per year at what is now our Jewell cokemaking facility.
Production continued to expand into the 1970’s when 16 large Jewell-Thompson ovens were built, increasing capacity by 80,000 tons per year. In the early 1980’s, SunCoke Energy improved its technology with enhanced combustion control and oven construction techniques, thereby enhancing coke quality. Then in the late 1980’s, we developed new technologies and processes to monitor and control oven temperatures increasing our coking cycles to 48 hours.
With a mature and robust coke oven technology, SunCoke Energy continued to improve its coke quality and coal-to-coke yield through the 1990's. During that time we also implemented our heat recovery/power generation technology.
As a result of the design improvements and extensive operational know-how developed since we began coke production in 1962, we believe that we possess the most advanced and environmentally sound cokemaking technology in the industry. Our oven design and operational practices also allow us to produce more electricity from our heat recovery process than any competing heat recovery technology.
Today, SunCoke Energy currently operates metallurgical coke plants in Vansant, Virginia; East Chicago, Indiana; Haverhill, Ohio; Granite City, Illinois; and Vitória, Brazil . These facilities produce over 5 million tons of coke each year. Our latest plant located in Middletown, Ohio is currently under construction with plans to be operational in the second half of 2011.