Cleveland-Cliffs holds groundbreaking ceremony for its HBI production plant in Toledo

Sharing in the groundbreaking are: (left to right) Clifford Smith, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.; Dean Monske, President and CEO, Regional Growth Partnership; Paul Toth, President and CEO, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority; Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, U.S. House of Representatives (OH-09); Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President & CEO, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.; Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz – City of Toledo; Peter Ujvagi, Toledo City Councilman; and Alex Johnson, CEO & President, Midwest Terminals.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. held a groundbreaking event April 5 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 ironmaking 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 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 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.”

“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.”

Cleveland-Cliffs streamed the groundbreaking event live from the project’s construction site.

Maritime Editorial