Jim Walter Resources
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Walter Energy, Inc. \\ Operations \\ Walter Coke \\ History
Walter Coke — History
Walter Coke, formerly Sloss Industries, is one of the oldest industrial companies in Birmingham, Alabama. Indeed the story of Walter Coke is a story of Birmingham. The beginning of the present day Walter Coke dates back to 1881 when the Sloss Furnace Company was organized, and the construction of two Blast Furnaces, now known as the City Furnaces, commenced. The company operated under the Sloss Furnace company name until 1887, when the Sloss Iron and Steel Company was formed. Additional capital was invested and two more blast furnaces were built in North Birmingham near our present-day location. Also coal and iron ore lands were purchased. In August 1899, the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company was organized with an authorized stock of $20,000,000. At this time, coke was produced in beehive ovens. In 1918, the construction of a By-Product Recovery Coke Plant commenced on our present-day site, which included one hundred twenty (120) 3.7 meter Semet Solvay coke ovens. Operation of this facility commenced on April 19, 1920. At this time, the plant was considered to be the ultimate in coke-making technology.
Three more coke oven batteries and an additional blast furnace were constructed in North Birmingham between 1951 and 1958. In 1952 Sloss-Sheffield merged with U.S. Pipe and Foundry Company, at which time the coke facility began producing all of the coke used by U. S. Pipe.
In 1969, Jim Walter Corporation became the parent company of U.S. Pipe and Foundry Company. In 1976 during a reorganization of Jim Walter Corporation, the coke facility became part of the Coke Iron and Chemical Division of Jim Walter Resources Inc. This division was separated from Jim Walter Resources in 1987 and established as Sloss Industries Corporation and became part of the new parent company, Walter Industries Inc. In 2009 Walter Industries, Inc. completed a multi-year reorganization into a pure play energy company, and changed its name to Walter Energy in order to reflect its new mission. At that time, Sloss Industries Inc., became Walter Coke.
The operation of the old Semet Solvay coke oven batteries and all the blast furnaces ceased by the end of 1980. The original two blast furnaces, the SLOSS FURNACES, are now a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. The coke oven batteries built in the 1950's continue to produce both furnace and foundry coke while maintaining compliance with all environmental regulations.
Walter Coke produces high quality furnace and foundry coke.