The Former Sydney Steel Plant Lands are located
in Sydney, Nova Scotia (Figure 1-1). For the purpose of this report,
the study area, or “site”, consists of all lands on
or adjacent to the Sydney Steel Plant that are currently owned by
the Sydney Steel Corporation. The site also includes lands on or
adjacent to the plant property that are now under the control of
the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW),
including the Blast Furnace/Incinerator Property, the High Dump
Tank Farm, lands adjacent to Ferry Street, the Cooling Pond Area,
and lands adjacent to Inglis Street.
Situated in the north-central part of Sydney, the site lies between
Muggah Creek (the Tar Ponds) and Whitney Pier. The north end of
downtown Sydney is located across Muggah Creek to the west. The
SYSCO docks, located at the northwest end of the site, border Sydney
The steel plant site is located near the mouth of Coke Ovens Brook
and the Wash Brook, which are two of the main outlets of the Muggah
Creek Watershed. The watershed comprises an area of approximately
2410 hectares that includes land uses such as residential/parkland,
commercial, institutional, waste management and heavy industrial
The current plant site encompasses an area of approximately 170
hectares (420 acres). The main processes at the plant included an
electric arc furnace, continuous caster, bloom reheating furnace
and rail milling facilities. Historically the fully integrated plant
produced coke and coke by-products, pig iron, bulk steel in the
form of ingots and blooms, and finished products such as rails,
bars, rods, tie plates, wire and nails.
When the plant ceased operations in 2000, the facility was based
on Electric Arc Furnace Steel Making. Iron units were obtained in
the form of scrap iron and steel, direct reduced iron (DRI) or granulated
pig iron. Scrap was received by ship at the dock facility or at
the scrap storage area in rail cars or trucks. The scrap was checked
for radioactivity, weighed, and stockpiled for later delivery to
the Electric Arc Furnace.
Liquid steel was produced with the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) process.
In later phases of melting, additional fluxes, carbon and oxygen
were injected into the furnace to produce a thick, foamy slag. The
slag helped refine the steel by flushing out unwanted elements such
as sulphur, phosphorous and silicon into a slag post below the furnace.
The next stage of the process involved Ladle Refining, Ladle Degassing
and the Bloom Caster. All these processes are located with the Melt
Shop/Caster Building (“Steel Shop”). The principal process
units in the Steel Shop include a 125/150 ton bottom tapping electric
arc furnace (EAF), a scrap bucket preheater, a ladle refining arc
furnace, a tank-type ladle degasser, and a 3-strand caster.
Blooms were conveyed from the Continuous Caster to the Reheat Furnace
where a uniform temperature was achieved. Next,the steel was rolled
into rails in the Universal Mill line. In addition to rail production
the mill was also capable of rolling certain tie plate and mine
arch sections. The finished products were then transferred by rail
or vessel to overseas and domestic markets.