60 years ago the August Thyssen steel mill celebrated a milestone …
Historie | ... in the reconstruction process: Chancellor Adenauer attended the start-up of the wide hot strip mill at the Duisburg plant in July 1955.
The former August Thyssen steel mill celebrated an important milestone in the reconstruction process 60 years ago: the start-up of the wide hot strip mill, now hot strip mill 1 in Bruckhausen. Around 2,000 employees and 750 guests from government and industry, headed by Dr. Konrad Adenauer and including Fritz Thyssen’s widow, Amélie Thyssen, were invited to the official inauguration in northern Duisburg in July 11 1955. “Please see the fact that I have come here today in the middle of extremely pressing and difficult political work as an expression of my respect for the reconstruction work that has been performed here at the August Thyssen steel mill,” said the then Chancellor during the ceremony. “I hope that the plant management, together with the state and federal governments, can succeed in casting off the final bonds over the course of time and help this plant to flourish – better than ever before,” said Dr. Adenauer in his speech.
The groundbreaking for the construction of the wide strip mill took place in September 1953. At times, over 70 companies with more than 2,000 employees were engaged in construction and installation work at the 50,000 m² site every day. In spring 1955 production trials began in the roughly 400-meter-long shop. “There was an interesting and even exciting atmosphere in the rolling mill building as the first trial runs got underway, with numerous attendees, from board members to apprentices, racing to follow the rolled material from the pusher furnaces to the coiler as it was transformed from slab into strip,” wrote the August Thyssen mill employee newspaper.
For the site in northern Duisburg the start of production was an important signal in the successful reconstruction process following the halt of dismantling in 1949. That is why Dr. Adenauer also spoke of a “new chapter in the plant’s history” at the inauguration in July 1955, praising the “imposing and magnificent plant, made possible by the industry of the people who work here.” Those people had double reason to celebrate: In addition to secure jobs as a result of the step-by-step expansion of production, every August Thyssen steel mill employee received vouchers worth 20 German Marks to mark the occasion.
Hot strip mills are core units in the manufacture of flat steel
thyssenkrupp Steel Europe operates four hot strip mills in Duisburg and Bochum which produce almost twelve million tons per year. Hot strip mill 1 in Bruckhausen, which underwent extensive modernization in 2013, has a total capacity of around three million tons per year. Approx. 600 people currently work there.
Hot-rolled strip is the basis of all the flat steel products made by thyssenkrupp Steel Europe. During production, steel slabs heated to more than 1,000 degrees Celsius are rolled into thin strip in several consecutive rolling stands. This material is used either directly by customers or processed at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s locations. Hot strip mill 1 mainly produces starting material for the packaging specialist thyssenkrupp Rasselstein in Andernach, which uses it to manufacture blackplate for sophisticated packaging solutions such as food and beverage cans or aerosol containers. Among other things the mill also produces starting material for electrical steel, which is used for example in electric motors and high-efficiency transformers, as well as sheet and particularly thin and flat special grades.