|Successor||Corus IJmuiden (1999–2007)
Tata Steel Europe IJmuiden (2007-)
Koninklijke Hoogovens known as Koninklijke Nederlandsche Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken (KNHS) until 1996 or informally Hoogovens.[note 1] was a Dutch steel producer founded in 1918.
The IJmuiden steelworks based in IJmuiden, the Netherlands was built between 1920 and 1940, first producing iron, later steel, with hot and cold rolling producing flat products. In the 1960s the company diversified into Aluminium production.
The company briefly merged its IJmuiden steel plant with German steel company Hoesch from 1972 forming the joint venture Estel but demerged in 1982. In 1999, the company merged with the larger British Steel to create Corus Group steel company. The Alumium production assets were sold off during the Corus period. In 2007, Corus Group was purchased by India-based Tata Steel and was renamed Tata Steel Europe in 2010. The IJmuiden steel works thus now is a part of Tata Steel Europe.
In 1914 H.J.E. Wenckebach and J.C Ankersmit began planning construction of a steelworks in the Netherlands, in 1916 Ankersmit left for the USA leaving Wenckebach to continue the work; on 19 April 1917 Wenckebach presented his plans which included the establishment of three blast furnaces, a coking plant, and plants for utilising the by products of the process (coking gas, and slag). In May 1917 a Comité voor oprichting van een hoogovenstaal- en walswerk in Nederland (Committee for establishing blast furnaces and steel rolling mill in the Netherlands) was set up, with the aim of creating a steel works and rolling mills. The plan received support from the large industrial concerns and capitalists of the Netherlands, including Stork, Royal Dutch Shell, Steenkolen Handels-Vereeniging (SHV) and Philips; Hendrikus Colijn, Frits Fentener van Vlissingen, and J. Muysken. Additionally the Dutch state and the city of Amsterdam contributed 7.5million and 5million of the 30million Dutch guilders required to capitalise the project.
On September 20, 1918 the company Koninklijke Nederlandsche Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken N.V. (KNHS) was created in The Hague. Wenckenbach was the Director, Geldolph Adriaan Kessler the secretary, and A.H. Ingen Housz the company's assignee.
One of the motivations for the creation of a steelworks was to remove the reliance on imported steel, the country's resources of coal and iron ore were also limited, so a site suitable for both import and export by sea was chosen; IJmuiden was chosen over sites at Rotterdam and Moerdijk due to better ground conditions. The site was on the north bank of the North Sea Canal, beyond its final locks, construction of harbors began -the inner harbour opened in 1920, and the outer harbour in 1923.
By 1924 the first blast furnace, casting hall, coke plant, and an electricity generating plant powered by waste gases from the coke ovens and blast furnaces.
In 1928 the KNHS and Royal Dutch Shell created a joint venture Mekog which was to manufacturer fertiliser using chemicals derived from coke oven gas. A second subsidiary was founded in 1930; an on site cement factory established as a joint venture between KNHS and the Dutch concrete company Eerste Nederlandse Cement Industrie (ENCI), it was named Cementfabriek IJmuiden (CEMIJ) and manufactured cement using granulated furnace slag as an additive.
During the 1930s the plant was further developed, turning from raw iron production to steel production using open hearth furnaces; again Freyr, Brassert & Co. were chosen to supply the plant's design. During World War II the company was affected by the German occupation; in 1941 Vereinigte Stahlwerke had acquired 40% of the company from the shareholdings of the state and city of Amsterdam. The directors of the company Housz and Holtrop went into hiding in 1943. The mouth of the North Sea canal at IJmuiden was used as a base for the Kriegsmarine, and the steelworks itself was a strategic target for attack, bombings and lack of raw materials brought production to a halt.
After the end of World War II reconstruction of the Netherlands began, as part of this process the steelworks was invested in; a separate company Breedband NV was established 19 June 1950, receiving funding from both the state and the United States Marshall Plan. During the same period Architect Willem Marinus Dudok was commissioned to design a head office for the company in Velsen; completed 1953. The Breedband project moved Hoogoven's emphasis into flat rather than long products, which continued in later decades.
Labour relations at the plant were usually good; during the first two decades of the enterprises existence the organisational structure was relatively simple, with limited hierarchies, there were limited attempts at a benevolent social policy by the plant's management. Psychological testing of potential workers was gradually introduced, first for skilled workers, and after World War II for unskilled workers. Vocational training was slowly introduced after 1938. In the post war period foreign workers from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Yugoslavia and Morocco began to be employed at the plant; in the 1960s the practice of housing foreign workers in floating hotels was begun. Post war there was no major industrial action until 1973 when 2300 workers went on strike at the IJmuiden plant. During the Steel crisis there were no strikes, despite significant lay-offs.
In 1972 the IJmuiden steelworks (Hoogovens IJmuiden BV.[note 2]) were formed into a 50:50 joint venture named Estel with Hoesch of Germany as the other partner,[note 3] who merged their Dortmund steel plant into the concern. IJmuiden with good access to seaborn raw materials was to act primarily as a raw steel supplier to the plant in Germany, which was closer to a large market for finished steel products - the steel crisis of the 1970s prevented any positive expansion and the company was disbanded in 1982 when funding arrangements for the loss making Dortmund plant could not be agreed.
After the de-merger from Hoesch the company required restructuring, and investment: the company was producing too much raw steel with not enough semi-finished product manufacturing capacity. This led to the installation of a continuous casting, hot rolling, and steel coating lines of the next decade. The Dutch state supported the process - with a loan of 570million guilders. The workforce was reduced by 3000 (14%) over 4 years from 1982, with the company becoming profitable again in 1984. The subsidiary Demka was also closed.
The company's first continuous caster was put into operation in May 1980. In 1990 a production line for producing paint coated steel rolls was started. The third blast furnace was decommissioned in 1991.
In the late 1990s two blast furnaces were purchased by the Indonesian steel group Gunawan Steel Group and dismantled and shipped to its development in Malaysia; Gunawan Iron and Steel. The dismantling work was carried out by a Chinese contractor which was found to be paying its 120 Chinese workers less than the Dutch minimum wage, with poor safety conditions, with 14 accidents resulting in 2 fatalities due to falls from height. The Chinese contractor was fined for breaches of safety practice, and made to improve working conditions, as well as retrospectively paying its workers 15,000 Guilders.
In 1998 Hoogovens employed around 23000 people, and produced approximately 8 million tonnes of steel (and 450000tonnes of Aluminium) per year, with sales of over $10 billion. The company's main products were rolled steel, including tinplate (thin gauge steel), coated steels, and aluminium extrustions. Production was distributed 20% in the Dutch market, 60% in the rest of Europe and 20% to the rest of the world.
Corus group 1999-2007
In June 1999 British Steel and Hoogovens announced that they were to merge, with Hoogovens forming 38.3% of the new group; the new company provisionally title 'BSKH' was then the third largest in the world, with sales of £9.4 billion. The name "Corus" for the new entity was announced in September 1999, The merger was approved by the European Commission in July, on 6 October 1999 the two companies were merged.
The merger has also been characterised as a takeover by British Steel; BS, which exported a third of its output to Europe was vulnerable to a strong pound, and the merger with Hoogovens could insulate it to some extent from such currency fluctuations,
In 2000 a hot dip galvanising line Galtec 2, with a capacity of 400000 tonnes per year of zinc coated coil began operation; it was the second to be produced as part of a joint venture with Sidmar. A joint venture (42.5%) Galstar LP with Weirton Steel for another galvanising line built in the late 1990s in Jeffersonville, Indiana, USA entered bankruptcy in 2001 having been closed due to poor demand after only 4 months production.[note 4]
Tata Steel 2007
In 2008 due to lack of demand the Corus steel group cut production by 20%; in IJmuiden one blast furnace was taken out of production.
In 1964 a joint venture with Hoogovens as major (50%) partner established an aluminium company Aldel in the north east of the Netherlands; the enterprised was backed by the state which guaranteed a long term supply of energy a low price: a large natural gas discovery had been made in the region. Mining company Billiton was the other partner in the venture, along with technical support from Alusuisse.[note 5]
In 1970 the company acquired a shareholding in Sidal (Belgium), and in 1987 Kaiser Aluminium's European business was acquired; the acquisition made KNHS a major aluminium producer: by 1996 it had an aluminium smelting capacity of well over 10 million tonnes per annum.
Divisions in the board of Corus arose in 2002 when the company announced it was to sell its profitable aluminium business to Pechiney for over £500 million; Corus's British division was making a loss at this time and the sale was seen by Dutch interests as being use to prop up the loss making British interests with no backward investment in the European mainland side of the business. The board of Corus Netherlands vetoed the sale.
In 2006 Corus's aluminium rolling and extrusion facilities were sold to Aleris. In 2009 smelters in Delfzijl (Netherlands) and Voerde (Germany) were sold to Briand Investments B.V. an associate of Klesch, a large commodity trader. This ended the businesses' association with aluminium, leaving it primarily as a steel producer.
Subsidiaries and joint ventures
The welded tubes factory in Zwijndrecht was acquired at the end of 1995 from Van Leeuwen Buizen (see also Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group). In 2011 a €3million investment was made into the factory improving facilities for manufacturing tube steel for car chassis construction.
A 50% share in Belgian steelmaker Usine Gustave Boël (UGB) in La Louvière was acquired in 1997 (as a joint venture with HB Holding), with option to buy the remaining shares. The UGB subsidiary Fabrique de Fer de Maubeuge (FFM) was also acquired, and renamed 'Myriad'. Governmental financing for rescue investment in UGB La Louvière could not be agreed and the plant was sold to Duferco in 1999.
SIEHO (Stichting Industrieel Erfgoed Hoogovens, English: Hoogovens industrial heritage foundation) is dedicated to the history of the plant, and runs the Hoogovens Museum which is an affiliate of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. Corus Stoom IJmuiden (Steam Corus IJmuiden) operates steam trains on the rail network of the CIJmuiden and has workshop facilities on site.
- HIsarna steelmaking process, primary steel production process invented at Hoogovens
- Tata Steel Chess Tournament, formerly the Hoogovens chess tournament, started 1938
- Nedstaal, minor Dutch steel producer in Alblasserdam
- Koninklijke Nederlandsche Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken N.V. : English Royal Dutch Blast Furnaces and Steelworks Public Limited; Koninklijke Hoogovens : English: Royal Blast Furnaces; "Hoogoven" (plural "hoogovens") is Dutch for blast furnace.
- KNHS formed its interests that were to be merged (the IJmuiden steelworks) into a company Hoogovens IJmuiden BV, source: History Steel Company (2007), "Estel is founded, 7 July 1972"
- In the late 1960s Hoogovens and Hoesch had planned to build a second Dutch steel plant in Rotterdam. The proposal was blocked by the Rotterdam council, having received opposition from the public and green groups.
- Later renamed GalvPro, the joint venture became banckrupt in 2001, The plant was acquired by Steel Dynamics in 2003.
- Hoogovens acquired Billiton's share in the joint venture in 1977.
- 90 Years of Steel .. (2007), para. 1-2
- Korte geschiedenis .. (SIEHO), para. 1-5
- Pederson 2008, para. 1-3
- 90 Years of Steel .. (2007), "Background"
- Schenk 2001, p. 92
- Korte geschiedenis .. (SIEHO), KNHS eerste fase, Havens en opslagen 1920
- Pederson 2008, para.6
- Korte geschiedenis .. (SIEHO), Cemij 1930
- Vrieling 1998, Table 5.1, p.117; p.129.
- Sluyterman 2005, p. 118.
- History Steel Company (2007), "Board of directors into Hiding"
- "WE ARE IN A SMART DISTRESS (republished in 'World War II Experiences of Howard Thornley'", Samen Magazine, December 1977: 228–230
- History Steel Company (2007), "War, company is closed down" 13 December 1943
- Herman van Bergeijk (2001), "1947/51 Administrative offices of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken (Royal Dutch Steel Works)", W.M. Dudok, 010 Publishers
- "architectuurgids.nl - Hoofdgebouw Hoogovens, Willem Marinus Dudok, Velsen-Noord", www.architectuurgids.nl
- Vrieling 1998, p. 134.
- Staal en arbeid - Periode 1924-1955, "Summary", pp.370-
- History Steel Company (2007), "The Arosa Sun in IJmuiden, 27 February 1960"
- "Industrialisatie IJmondgebied 1876-1950", www.regiocanons.nl (in Dutch)
- Vrieling 1998, p. 107
- Michael Whittall; Herman Knudsen; Fred Huijgen, eds. (2007), Towards a European labour identity: the case of the European Work Council, Routledge, "Historical background", pp.41-43
- Vrieling 1998, p. 149.
- See sources in article Estel
- Schenk 2001, pp. 96-99.
- Pederson 2008, para.17.
- History Steel Company (2007), "Continuous Casting Installation, 9 May 1980"
- History Steel Company (2007), "Paint line put into operation, 16 March 1990"
- History Steel Company (2007), "Blast Furnace 3 demolished, 18 October 1991"
- MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN STEELMAKING CAPACITY IN THE NON-OECD AREA, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development : DIRECTORATE FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRY : STEEL COMMITTEE, 14 October 1997, p. 38
- "Chinese company may continue demolition work", www.eurofound.europa.eu, 28 July 1997
- "Chinese company fined for its dangerous working conditions", www.eurofound.europa.eu, 28 October 1997
- "Onrust over ongevallen op terrein Hoogovens", www.digibron.nl (in Dutch), 23 May 1997
- "Vergunning Chinees bedrijf in gevaar", www.trouw.nl (in Dutch), 3 June 1997
- History Steel Company (2007), "Name is changed, 1 January 1996"
- History Steel Company (2007), "Casting mill installation opened, 17 April 2000"
- Peter van Steen, ed. (1999), J.F. van Duyne, voorzitter van de Raad van Bestuur van Koninklijke Hoogovens : Een diepe en felle dip, maar absoluut geen dieptepunt
- "British Steel merges with Dutch rival", news.bbc.co.uk (BBC), 7 June 1999
- "Newly merged British Steel-Hoogovens group to be named Corus", nl.newsbank.com (Associated Press Archive), 30 September 1999
- "Commission approves merger between British Steel (UK) and Hoogovens (Netherlands)", europa.eu (European Union), 19 July 1999
- History of Koninklijke Hoogovens, (Corus), The 1990s
- Michael Harrison (3 June 1999), "British Steel poised for pounds 1bn takeover", www.independent.co.uk (The Independent)
- Mauro Righini; Michele Turchetto (2000), "Surface coating - Galtec 2", MPT - Metallurgical Plant and Technology 23 (3): 94–97, ISSN 0935-7254
- Annual report 1998, Koninklijke Hoogovens NV, pp.24, 41
- "Galvanizing site bought by Weirton, Hoogovens", business.highbeam.com (American Metal Market), 13 May 1998
- "Galvstar LP.(changes name to Galvpro LP)(Brief Article)", www.highbeam.com (purchasing), 8 April 1999
- Scott Robertson (30 December 2002), "Indiana ports provide help in a bid to sell idle GalvPro" (PDF), www.lockerassociates.com
- "Steel dynamics finalizes deal to buy GalvPro", goliath.ecnext.com (American Metal Market), 6 February 2003
- "Belangrijke investering bij Corus in IJmuiden", www.tatasteel.nl (Corus), 30 November 2005
- "Corus Group Press Release", www.tatasteel.nl (Corus), 7 November 2008
- Vrieling 1998, p. 158.
- Vrieling 1998, p. 101.
- History of Koninklijke Hoogovens, (Corus), "The 1970's"; "The 1980's"
- Michael Whittall; Herman Knudsen; Fred Huijgen, eds. (2007), Towards a European labour identity: the case of the European Work Council, Routledge, "A case in point: the aluminium debacle", pp.47-52; also p.43
- col1 "Corus Group plc Preliminary Report for the 12 Months to 28 December 2002", findarticles.com (Corus Group), 14 March 2003
- "Aleris International Snags Corus' Downstream Aluminum Business", www.aluminum.org (The Aluminum Association), August 2006
- "Aleris acquires Corus business", goliath.ecnext.com (Metal Center News), 1 August 2006
- "Corus Sells Last Aluminum Smelters to PE Firm", www.aluminum.org (The Aluminum Association), 23 January 2009
- "Corus to Sell Aluminium Rolled Products and Extrusions Businesses to Aleris International", www.azon.com, 17 March 2006
- Schenk 2001, pp. 101-2, note.3.
- Pederson 2008, para.21
- "Hoogovens koopt walserij van Van Leeuwen Buizen", www.volksrant.nl (in Dutch), 1 November 1995
- "Nieuwe bewerkingslijn voor automotivesector in Zwijndrecht", www.tatasteel.nl, 2011
- History Steel Company (2007), "Foundation of Segal, 3 November 1983"
- "Corus acquires remaining interest in Segal", www.tatasteel.nl (Corus), 12 November 2004,
Corus Staal BV, a fifty percent owner of Segal SA, has agreed to purchase the remaining shares in the Belgian galvanizing line
- "Hoogovens", www.toruw.nl (in Dutch), 24 January 1997
- Annual report 1998, Koninklijke Hoogovens NV, p.25
- "The European Commission authorises the acquisition by the Hoogovens Group of 50% of Usines Gustave Boël", europa.eu (European Union), 29 April 1997
- "Aciérie, laminoir dite Fabrique de Fer de Maubeuge, puis Hoogovens, puis Myriad", www.actuacity.com (in French)
- Philippe Dryon; Estelle Krzeslo (28 March 1999), "Unions concerned at sale of UGB steelworks by Hoogovens", www.eurofound.europa.eu (European Union)
- Christian Kohl (31 March 1999), "UGB board OKs Duferco plan for reconstruction.(Usine Gustave Boel in Belgium)", business.highbeam.com (American Metal Market)
- Pederson, Jay P., ed. (2008), "Koninklijke Nederlandsche Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken NV", International Directory of Company Histories (Gale) 91, via www.encyclopedia.com
- Pederson, Jay P., ed. (2003), "Corus Group plc", International Directory of Company Histories (St. James Press) 49, via www.fundinguniverse.com
- "History of Koninklijke Hoogovens" (PDF), www.tatasteeleurope.com (Corus)
- "90 Years of Steel Company in IJmuiden", www.steel90.com (in Dutch and English) (Corus), 2007
- "geschiedenis van Hoogovens", www.hoogovensmuseum.nl (in Dutch) (Hoogovensmuseum)
- van Elteren, Melchior Cornelis Maria (1986), Staal en arbeid - Periode 1924-1955 1
- Schenk, Hans (2001), "6. A 'Dutch Miracle' in steel policy? Laissez-faire intervention, wage restraint and the evolution of Hoogovens", in Bovens, M.A.P.; Peters, B. Guy; 't Hart, Paul, Success and failure in public governance: a comparative analysis, New Horizons in Public Policy, series editor Wayne Parsons, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 84–104
- also publisher as : Schenk, Hans (May 2000), Is Polder-Type Governance Good For You? Laissez-Faire Intervention, Wage Restraint, And Dutch Steel, ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2000-28-ORG
- Sluyterman, Keetie E. (2005), Dutch enterprise in the twentieth century: business strategies in a small open economy, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
- Vrieling, Lammert (1998), "THE PATHFINDER : STRATEGY PATHS AND RESOURCES IN THEIR TERRITORY THROUGH TIME", dissertations.ub.rug.nl (University of Groningen / Labyrint Publication), ISBN 90-72591-60-7
- Chapter 4 : KONINKLIJKE HOOGOVENS IN ITS TERRITORY: A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW, pp. 88–109
- Chapter 5 : THE "SOCIAL BECOMING" OF KONINKLIJKE HOOGOVENS PLC, pp. 110–174
- "Annual report 1998 Koninklijke Hoogovens NV" (PDF), www.tatasteeleurope.com (Koninklijke Hoogovens), 1998
- L.A. Pennock (1948), "De Koninklijke Nederlandsche Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken N.V.", in J.H.G. Schepers, Het Spiedend Oog Der Luchtcamera : 170 Luchtfoto's met toelochtende tekst (in Dutch), Koninkklijk Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap
- Jacques Malézieux (1981), Les Centres sidérurgiques des rivages de la mer du Nord et leur influence sur l'organisation de l'espace: Brême, IJmuiden, Gand, Dunkerque : recherches sur l'expression et sur la signification géographiques de l'activité industrielle (in French), Publications de la Sorbonne, ISSN 0766-0448
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Koninklijke Hoogovens.|
- Official websites
- "Tatasteel.nl", www.tatasteel.nl (in Dutch) (Tata Steel IJmuiden BV)
- "Welkom bij Corus in IJmuide", www.corus.nl (in Dutch), archived from the original on 12 April 2004
- Museums and heritage
- "Hoogovens Museum", www.hoogovensmuseum.nl (in Dutch) (SIEHO)
- "Corus Stoom Ymuiden", www.csy.nl (in Dutch), Corus IJmuiden steam
- "Steel90.com : 90th anniversary of the steel company in IJmuiden", www.steel90.com (Corus), 2007
- Uwe Niggemeier, "CORUS , IJMUIDEN , HÜTTENWERK / INTEGRATED STEEL MILL , Niederlande / Netherlands", www.stahlseited.de
- Harold Hfinster, "Tata Steel IJmuiden", www.hfinster.de
- Harold Hfinster, "Corus coke works", www.hfinster.de
- "Zoeken: hoogovens", www.gahetna.nl (in Dutch)