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The coke plant, in the state of Pennsylvania, expects to employ about 156 people once operations resume.

“We are appreciative of the support from the United Steelworkers [trade union] and the city, county and state to make this restart feasible,” external communications manager Mary Beth Holdford said.

In September 2012, the company announced a $50 million capital investment programme at its coke operations in Monessen. The project will modernise and upgrade the facility, which has been idled since May 2009.

The demolition of equipment that has reached the end of its useful life – including the screening station, quench tower, process vessels and piping – has now been completed.

Construction continues on the replacement of existing structures and a new wastewater treatment plant, and engineering programme are in place for the associated control structures and new replacement facilities, the company said.