Midrex Technologies is set to develop Cliffs Natural Resources’ first hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant in Toledo, Ohio, US.
The company will design, engineer and procure equipment for the new plant, which is estimated to cost around $700m and will have the nominal capacity to produce 1.6 million tonnes of HBI per year.
Cliffs Natural Resources chairman, president and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said: “Today’s announcement marks a very important strategic milestone for Cliffs as we begin to implement our plans to be the sole producer of high-quality HBI for the EAF steel market in the Great Lakes region.
“We thank Governor John Kasich, JobsOhio and a number of local partners in the Toledo community for their efforts to help advance this project, including an offer of approximately $30m in grants and other financial incentives.”
Not-for-profit business development consultancy firm JobsOhio stated that the project will create 130 permanent jobs and more than 1,200 construction jobs over the next two years.
Cliffs is currently negotiating with financial partners for the plant, for which groundbreaking is expected early next year.
The commercial production of HBI at the plant is slated for mid-2020.
The company has reportedly chosen the brownfield site at the Port of Toledo due to its relative proximity to future customers, and its logistics advantages, including affordable gas availability and access by multiple rail carriers.
Iron ore mining company Cliffs Natural Resources supplies iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from its mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota.
The company also operates an iron ore mining complex in Western Australia.