It took 33kg of explosives to demolish the chimney and nearly 2,200 tonnes of rubble – enough to fill 110 trucks – were created during the demolition works.

The sinter plant has been closed for almost a decade, so the company decided to remove the closed and unused buildings, including the chimney.

The operation of demolishing the chimney, whose circumference at its widest point is 32.5m, is one of the stages of the process of decommissioning the infrastructure of the former sinter plant. Demolishing ‘Fat Berta’ – as steelworkers called the chimney – involved 15 people from a specialist dismantling team. There were also four excavators in operation, the largest of which weighed 50 tonnes.

Demolition works at sinter plant began in July last year and will continue until 2023.

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“We decided to demolish the chimney and the entire infrastructure of the sinter plant as part of our ongoing drive to clean up unused assets,” said Sanjay Samaddar, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal Poland. “The entire plant occupied 30 hectares of land at Igołomska Street. It consisted of 108 buildings, 115 belt conveyors, four electrostatic precipitators and five loading bridges. Thanks to this we recovered a huge unused area which can be used for other activities as and when required.”

Scrap that its being recovered from the chimney and other parts of the former sinter plant will be reused in the steel plant in Dąbrowa Górnicza. It will go to converters and be used for steel production. –“We plan to recover about 60,000 tonnes of scrap from all the equipment of the former sinter plant and the rubble coming from the demolition will be disposed of by a professional company,” said Monika Mazurek, project manager for the dismantling of the sinter plant in Krakow.

There used to be two agglomeration plants in the Krakow steel plant. The first of the two sinter plants started operating in 1954 and was shut down at the turn of 1990/1991. The second, which started operation in December 1966, stopped working in June 2012.

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