Cliffs Natural Resources to locate HBI production plant at Ironville Terminal

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority announced June 15 that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will locate its first hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant at Ironville Terminal in East Toledo. This project has the potential to create up to 130 permanent jobs, more than 1,200 construction jobs and represents a $700 million investment in the Toledo region. This project was made possible due to partnerships between the port authority, JobsOhio, Midwest Terminals of Toledo, City of Toledo, Lucas County, Regional Growth Partnership and the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

“We are excited to add to the already substantial economic impact the Port of Toledo has on this region,” said Paul Toth, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “We acquired Ironville with the intention of locating a large-scale industrial user on the site who required marine and rail capabilities, and we truly feel this project is the perfect match for the remaining portion of the site.”

Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., 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 look forward to the strong margin and earnings potential this new product will generate for Cliffs shareholders.”

Goncalves added: “We thank Gov. 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 $30 million in grants and other financial incentives. We will continue to work closely with the State of Ohio through the environmental permitting process and are excited to bring a significant number of high-paying jobs to Ohio.”

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will lease approximately 100 acres on the east side of the site from the terminal operator, Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Existing infrastructure and material handling capabilities met the company’s requirements for its site selection process. Construction on this project is expected to begin in early 2018, with the production of commercial tonnage of HBI beginning in mid-2020. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will receive more than two million tons of product, delivered by vessel, for the production of HBI, and has the potential to add 100 new vessel calls per year at the Port of Toledo. The finished product will ship from the facility via truck and rail.

“As with any company interested in locating or expanding here, our people came to the table nimble and ready to work with Cliffs. We are committed to continuing to work with this company to move the project forward,” said Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.

Maritime Editorial