Breaking News 3/2/2023 Read 5 min

Experts from Avdiivka Coke help Turkish steel plant resume operations after earthquake

Veteran workers from Metinvest Group's Avdiivka Coke Plant and Koksokhimstantsiya SE helped their Turkish counterparts to resume the operations of the coke division of the Isdemir steel plant, which had been shut down because of the recent earthquake.  The earthquake in Turkey has paralysed around one third of steel production capacity.

The Isdemir steel plant is one of the Turkish steel plants that suffered damage due to the earthquake and its aftershocks. The plant's coke division shut down. The Turkish experts were unable to resume the operation of this critical resource on their own. Specialists from Ukraine came to help them. Avdiivka Coke's employees have previously succeeded in reviving their plant after it had stopped operations at the height of the war in Donbas. Keeping in mind the unique experience of their Ukrainian colleagues, Isdemir's management turned to Musa Magomedov, the former General Director of Avdiivka Coke, for help.

“Avdiivka Coke is a unique example of maintaining production in the face of hostilities,” Musa Magomedov, now a member of the Ukrainian parliament, said. Before the full-scale invasion, the city of Avdiivka and the plant itself were often left without electricity due to constant shelling. The plant was shut down and restarted 15 times and was de-energised more than 200 times. There have been no such precedents for this anywhere in the world and there were no instructions or algorithms for restarting production.

Musa Magomedov recalls that, amid the fighting, Avdiivka Coke’s specialists developed a special algorithm to minimise the time it took to put coke oven batteries into hot mothballing from four days to four hours. Despite all the challenges, the plant remained one of the largest such enterprises in Europe and continued to supply Ukraine with high-quality coke and chemical products.

“Immediately after the earthquake, Isdemir's management asked for help, given the enormous experience that Avdiivka Coke’s employees had gained during nine years of war. We responded immediately. The expert Dmytro Fomin left the very next day to help our Turkish colleagues, and his fellow experts Yurii Eremeev, Semen Kaufman, and Oleksandr Maslov-Bering were in touch with him every day,” Musa Magomedov said.

After significant joint preparatory work, the team managed to load the batteries, produce the first lot of coke and start the gas-blowing machines.

“Today, the Isdemir steel plant is back to producing coke products. We achieved this together with the experts from Avdiivka Coke, we solved our problems and succeeded. We are now increasing production. We are sincerely grateful for the help of our Ukrainian colleagues," said Bulent Buukunal, Chief Commissioning Officer of Isdemir.

For reference: the Iskenderun steel plant (Turkish: Isdemir, short for İskenderun Demir ve Çelik A.Ş. is a Turkish plant located in the city of Iskenderun), a division of the Erdemir company. Erdemir Group is a Turkish ferrous steel company. It is the largest steel producer in Turkey. It ranks 43rd in the world by production volume.