International news within the industry of mining and metal, Jan, 17 2019
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Cleveland-Cliffs schedules groundbreaking ceremony for its HBI production plant

Photo: Cleveland-Cliffs
Photo: Cleveland-Cliffs
Published by
Simon Matthis - 04 Apr 2018

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. announced today that it will be holding a groundbreaking event on April 5, 2018 to celebrate the construction of its first hot-briquetted iron (HBI) production plant.

The company is investing $700 million to build one of the world’s most modern and efficient iron making plants, generating a total of 130 new jobs in Toledo, Ohio. At peak construction, 1,200 people will be working on the site. The Toledo plant will produce 1.6 million metric tons per year of customized high-quality HBI, and will make Cleveland-Cliffs the sole producer of high-quality customized feedstock for the domestic electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers located in the Great Lakes region. Cliffs’ domestically produced HBI will supply a Great Lakes market currently estimated at 3 million metric tons, which is currently supplied exclusively by imports of commercial quality pig iron and HBI from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Venezuela, among others. Start-up of the plant is expected to happen in the summer of 2020.

Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Today we are launching a new era for the iron and steel industry in the United States. As Cleveland-Cliffs begins the construction of the first hot-briquetted iron (HBI) production plant in the Great Lakes region, we are taking the initial steps to enable EAF steelmakers to produce the specs associated with high margin steels for sophisticated end markets, such as automotive and others.” Mr. Goncalves added: “For several decades, Cleveland-Cliffs has been supplying the American steelmakers in the Great Lakes with customized pellets to feed their blast furnaces. With the growth in participation of EAFs, it was just a matter of time for Cliffs to become a supplier of these important steelmakers. Our HBI will be for the EAFs the same great feedstock our taconite pellets are, and will continue to be, for our blast furnace clients.”

“We’re excited that Cleveland-Cliffs is expanding their presence in Ohio by building the very first hot-briquetted iron plant in the Great Lakes region,” said Ohio Governor John R. Kasich. “The great work of JobsOhio, their local partners and the company’s trust in the Toledo workforce will create hundreds of new jobs and greater economic opportunities for families throughout this region.”