US-based iron ore mining company Cleveland-Cliffs is set to build a new plant, valued at $700m, for the production of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) in Toledo, Ohio.
Cleveland-Cliffs intends to make the facility modern and efficient, with the capacity to manufacture 1.6 million metric tonnes (mt) of customised-quality HBI per year.
The company expects to be the only customised feedstock producer for domestic electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers in the Great Lakes region following the plant’s completion.
The Great Lakes market is estimated to be three million metric tonnes and is served through commercial-quality pig iron and HBI imported from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Venezuela.
Cleveland-Cliffs chairman, president and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said: “As Cleveland-Cliffs begins the construction of the first 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.
“For several decades, Cleveland-Cliffs has been supplying the American steelmakers in the Great Lakes with customised pellets to feed their blast furnaces.
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“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.”
The start-up of the plant is currently planned to take place in 2020.
The company noted that the facility will create 130 new jobs in the region, as well as employ 1,200 personnel at the peak of its construction stage.